An armed group in the creeks of the Niger Delta hasve kicked against the decision of the Federal government to award a multi-million dollar pipeline surveillance contract to a former militant leader and Commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo.
The Federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited recently signed the deal with Tompolo in a bid to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining, and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
According to reports, the deal with Tompolo is worth over N4 billion monthly. Insiders say the duties of the former MEND commander will be to monitor and oversee other surveillance contracts, contractors and their activities in the entire Niger Delta.
While some Nigerians have applauded this move as it will help eliminate oil theft and increase the revenue of the country, other armed men in the creeks of the Niger Delta have said the contract cannot be solely awarded to Tompolo.
In an interview with Arise TV, a group of armed men who refer to themselves as the Creek Men expressed dissatisfaction over their exclusion from the contract. They are demanding inclusion in the pipeline surveillance contract.