Five oil workers have been abducted by unknown gunmen within the OML55 operational area of an indigenous oil company, Belema Producing Ltd in Akuku-To
Five oil workers have been abducted by unknown gunmen within the OML55 operational area of an indigenous oil company, Belema Producing Ltd in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria.
The oil workers are believed to be personnel of the Integrated Data Services Ltd, IDSL a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC working in collaboration with the China National Petroleum Corporation, BGP, who are contractors to Belema Oil.
The abductees were working at the site of an ongoing seismic operation in Belema community when they were abducted on Monday, May 13, 2019.The Rivers State Police Command has however not confirmed the incident.
Reacting to the abduction of the oil workers, the Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers has condemned the kidnap. The Chairman of the Supreme Council, King Kroma Elekki said that the act is inimical to the development of the area and capable of causing social disorder. He therefore called for the immediate and unconditional release of the oil workers in order to make for improved security along the Kula waterways.
King Kroma Elekki said that “it is very sad news and we condemn it with the strongest term because the abducted oil workers are working for the development of the area and for faceless criminals to abduct them, is to slow down the pace of work which is not good at all. We are appealing to the government and the security agencies to ensure that the abducted oil workers are released and to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book. We demand the unconditional release of the oil workers”.
The Chairman of Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers also said that the abduction of the oil workers confirmed an earlier position that a multinational oil company is colluding with some miscreants in Kula to undermine security and create an unconducive atmosphere in the area in order to destabilize the ongoing oil operation.
He said that “this abduction goes to confirm the intelligence that we gathered earlier that the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC and some dissident elements from our community are working hand in gloves to bring in thugs to cause unrest in our area. We had earlier raised alarm and so we are appealing to the government to assist us by deploying more security men in the area because we are keying into the peace initiative of the government and we don’t want any violence in our area, we don’t want any criminal activities in our area”.
In a related development, the Public Complaints Commission of Nigeria has called on government at all levels to develop a template for dealing with kidnapping, banditry and terrorism in the country. The National Secretary of the Public Complaint Commission, Mr. Bala Abdoo made the call in a presentation at a one-day seminar held yesterday. He called for an end to payment of ransom to kidnappers by relatives of kidnap victims, saying that:
“The government should come out with a policy on ransom payment as it is done in other countries, either to pay or not to pay. Government should make it impossible for all the beneficiaries of ransom to utilize the money. In other words, government should make it impossible for the perpetrators to benefit from the loot because it is like a business, once you know that you are doing a business and you are not reaping the benefit of it, you will stop it.
“The policy of government on ransom should ensure that if ransom is paid, for instance, if N100, 000 is paid, government should invest even a million naira to make sure that the perpetrators cannot make use of the N100, 000 they collected”#