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Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

Crude Oil Theft: Edwin Clark Blames Military, Foreigners….Exonerates N’Delta Youths

Chief Edwin Clark

Chief Edwin Clark

LAGOS MARCH 10TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has exonerated the people of the Niger Delta from the massive oil theft taking place in the region, saying attention should be shifted to foreigners and some unscrupulous military officers.
In recent times, about 400,000 barrels of crude oil are believed to be stolen daily from the region on thereby depriving Nigeria of billions of naira in revenue.

Clark, who spoke with THISDAY at the weekend, noted that the youths in the region only embarked on small scale bunkering (bucket bunkering) because they don’t have the technical know-how required for such operation, adding that the real crude oil thieves are those from overseas.
He said rather than focus attention on the Niger Delta youths who steal crude with buckets, foreigners who have the technical know-how and the ships to cart away large quantities of crude should be held responsible for the nefarious act.
He equally blamed the military for the problem, adding that they always aid and abet the act for pecuniary motive.
“When we talk about crude oil theft, I have always said our young men at home do bucket bunkering. They have no facility and they also lack the technology to operate, but those who steal large quantities of the crude oil are people who come from abroad.
“Have we forgotten the case where three naval admirals were involved in the deal and were court marshalled?
“The military officers in the Niger Delta region are connected with crude oil theft. So, because of these military officers, either retired or serving, I will suggest that the troops in the region be changed from time to time. In doing so, you will find out that crude oil theft will be reduced.
“Each time the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrests anybody, what do you hear? If it’s not from Philippines, it’s from other Asian countries.
“The youths only use buckets for local refinery. What they steal can never amount to anything, let alone getting to 400, 000 barrels of crude oil,” he said.

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