Group’s allegations untrue – Aiteo
Ben Dunno, Warri
The Niger Delta Oil and Gas Monitoring Group (NDO&GMP) has alleged that the management of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, operators of Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), was sponsoring campaigns to ridicule the Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation DELTA SAFE, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman.
The body, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Biukeme Pereteibo and Secretary, Tolaifa Government, noted that if not properly checked, Aiteo Management and its Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Peters and his alleged collaborators would plunge the region to another round of crisis.
It stated that contrary to what it has been speculated the JTF Commander, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman and his team, had done very well in curbing illegal bunkering activities in the region, adding that the ongoing campaign was designed to remove him by those he had denied access of making crude oil theft business as usual.
Specifically, the group accused Aiteo and its Chief Executive Officer of masterminding the series of negative media campaigns, the protest by some youths at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja and the
last Friday’s press conference addressed by Niger Delta Ethnic Youths led by Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) President, Oweillami Peretubo who also call for the removal of the security chief.
NDO&GMP wondered where the said protesters got money to hire buses and print glossy barners for the protest and the press conference held at a posh hotel by Ethnic nationality youths in Warri if not from Mr. Benedict Peters that have the resources to fund such project.
The group alleged it had it on good authority that over N200 million had been budgeted for the campaign to remove the JTF Commander by Aiteo disclosing that N30 million was disbursed for the Warri press conference held by “the so called ethnic nationality youths” for the exercise.
The group noted that it is obvious in Aiteo’s reactions, as published by various national newspapers that the company has an aim which is to remove the JTF Boss by all means.
“We are aware that Aiteo has been engaged in illegal activities, including oil bunkering. we reported our observations to the JTF. It
is the efforts of the security outfit to curb the activities of this company that makes it to react this way by sponsoring the protest and press conferences to impugn on the integrity of the Naval Boss.
“Is it only Aiteo that is operating in the Niger Delta? If Admiral Apochi is involved in illegal oil bunkering as alleged by Aiteo, why are other IOCs not also complaining? The JTF Boss is supervising other security agencies like Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, NSCDC and DSS, why are these agencies not reporting to their offices for action?”, it asked.
The group appealed to the media not to allow themselves to be used by Aiteo management and others to thwart the good job JTF is doing in the region.
“The oil theives have a lot of money to throw around to thwart any process that will disturb their illegal operations.
“So, we appeal to the media to be wary of those coming to them with phantom allegations. please do your investigations properly before any further publications so as not to discourage those trying to change things around for good,” it pleaded.
NDO&GMP also urged the Defence Headquarters to wade in and investigate 0the activities of Aiteo and save the Niger Delta region from another crisis.
Aiteo’s Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Peters, and the Commander of JTF have been having altercations over the sponsors of penultimate Friday protest at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja by a group of youths calling for the removal of Rear Admiral Apochi.
The JTF Boss had accused the Chief Executive of Aiteo of being behind the protest which the company reacted to last Monday absolving Mr. Benedict Peters.
But in swift response to the allegations, the management of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, operators of Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) has absolved its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Benedict Peters of any involvement in the series of publications and protest aimed at tarnishing the reputation of JTF Commander, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman.
It described that the allegations against the company and its boss as the figment of imagination of those making such insinuations as the company had explicit confidence in the military high command in ensuring adequate protection of life and property of every Nigerians both on land and the nation’s territorial waters.
Also the President of the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youths Barr. Oweillami Peretubo, had denied being sponsored by group, individuals or corporate bodies in making demand for the removal of the JTF Boss, insisting that their stand was based on the intelligence gathering and the need to protect the region.