Arewa youths under the umbrella of the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative and the Arewa Youth Forum, on Monday, staged a protest at headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in Abuja, asking the federal government not to renew a pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Tantita Security, owned by Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known Tompolo.
The protestors called on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to reconsider renewing the contract, citing rampant financial malfeasance associated with it.
The protesters held placards bearing such inscriptions as ‘Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance Is a Fraud’, ‘President Tinubu, Please Save Nigeria from these Jackals’, and ‘Suspend and Probe NNPC Menchmen’.
Comrade Musa Adebayo, the President of the Arewa Youth Congress, read a statement co-signed by Comrade Usman Saidu, President of the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative.
They argued that since the contract was awarded to Tompolo, there had been no significant rise in oil production.
“The successes being celebrated are normal production rates before the mayhem of the Niger Delta Avengers,” Adebayo stated.
He further expressed concerns about the efforts to re-award the contract to Tompolo, an ex-militant general.
“It is a major matter of concern how much concerted effort is being made to re-award the pipeline surveillance contracts despite the tension, financial malfeasance, disinformation, and abnormalities that are inherent in the contract,” Adebayo said.
The protestors also called for the suspension and investigation of several NNPCL executives for their involvement in contracts concerning the security and maintenance of pipeline infrastructure.
They argued that these contracts cost the federal government almost one billion dollars in the past year.
“As concerned citizens, we should understand that the country is too tense to allow for any action that may breed internal turmoil and more controversy within the ranks of its citizenry,” Adebayo said.
He added that awarding contracts to someone “who should ordinarily be behind bars for the economic mayhem caused in the Niger Delta region between 2016 and 2018 is total anti-peace and anti-development.”
Adebayo vowed that the protestors would continue to occupy the NNPCL premises until their demands were met.