CSOs Call on President Tinubu to Investigate Arms Proliferation in Niger Delta

By Milcah Tanimu

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria, operating under the umbrella of the Civil Society Organization Network of Nigeria (CSONN), have urged President Bola Tinubu to investigate the proliferation of arms in the Niger Delta region. This call was made during a mass demonstration at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

CSONN emphasized that the proliferation of arms in the region has contributed to an escalation in violent crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, and cultism. The group expressed deep concern over the potential deterioration of the situation if prompt action is not taken.

Collins Eshiofeh, Chairman of CSONN, urged President Tinubu to investigate the sources of these arms and take decisive action to curb their proliferation in the Niger Delta. Additionally, the group called for a review of pipeline surveillance contracts awarded to former militants, expressing concerns that such contracts could perpetuate arms proliferation and empower these individuals further.

While acknowledging recent efforts by the Nigerian Navy and President Tinubu in tackling oil theft, the CSOs stressed the urgent need for a reevaluation of current pipeline surveillance contracts. They warned that these contracts, if awarded to entities with questionable backgrounds, could exacerbate environmental and security crises in local communities.

Eshiofeh highlighted the alarming consequences of awarding surveillance contracts to groups with dubious integrity, citing the recent attack in Okauma village that resulted in the loss of 17 soldiers as a stark example.

CSONN called on the Federal Government to intervene by directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to halt the award of surveillance contracts to companies associated with individuals of questionable character. The group reiterated its commitment to serving as a societal watchdog and pledged to continue advocating for the resolution of these critical issues until addressed.


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