By Lukman Olabiyi

The Civil Society Coalition for Mandate Protection, (CSC-MAP) has attributed the increase in proliferation of arms to the award of pipeline security contracts to ex-militants.

CSC-MAP called on the Federal Government to re-trace its step on the award of pipeline security contracts to ex-militants, in order to check the proliferation of arms across the country.

Speaking at a rally, Mr Popoola Ajayi, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, noted that the involvement of ex-militants in oil economic management and distribution is partly responsible for the current fuel scarcity in the country. He said the coalition would continue the protest to the Presidency, members of the Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Security Council, to ensure Nigeria stops the habit of awarding pipeline protection to people with historic link with terrorism, banditry and rebellion against the Nigerian State.

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“We have started building a network with groups across the country and in the West Africa sub region.This is the second of such rallies to sensitise Nigerians on the need to immediately stop the award of oil pipeline contracts to people associated with violence”, Ajayi said.

The coalition said the award of contracts to ex-militants violates international conventions that protect the rights of indigenous people from violence and environmental destruction.

“We have already sent a petition to OPEC to reinforce international standards, to ensure pipeline protection is not associated with armed groups and militants in any of the member states. The OPEC president should, as a matter of fact, insist that member states must, henceforth, stop the award of oil contracts to armed groups”, the coalition insisted.