The Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, has explained why the Nigerian military has been unable to permanently end oil bunkering and theft in the Niger Delta region.
He explained that communities in the region “protect” those carrying out the oil bunkering and also help to rebuild illegal oil refineries whenever the military personnel destroy them.
“We are having a lot of problems with the communities in the Niger Delta. Some communities even protect individuals that do this (crude oil theft). On a daily basis, we destroy illegal oil refineries. (But) as we are doing that and turning around, they are fixing them (the illegal refineries) back,” Mr Musa told Channels TV on Tuesday, December 19.
He expressed worry that those who engage in crude oil theft in the Niger Delta have developed capacities to fix illegal oil refineries destroyed by the military “at a very short term.”
“We have seen situations where, eight, seven, six kilometers away from pipelines, broken, drawn perfectly and connected to individual houses and they are moving these things (crude oil) out,” he stated.
“We cannot be everywhere. If Nigerians report these issues to us, we will be able to address them,” he said.