A factional leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Gani Adams has said that picketing the offices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is not part of the plan to recover debts the oil company is owning OPC and some ex-Niger Delta militants.
In the build up to the last general elections, the media was awash with reports that the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, awarded surveillance contracts estimated at about N9bn to the OPC and ex-militants. Adams on several occasions thanked Jonathan for the gesture.
But following the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the security contract was allegedly terminated.
Last week, OPC founder, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, threatened to lead an army of OPC members to picket NNPC offices to recover debt allegedly owed them as a result of the botched contract.
Adams said though his group and NNPC were in talks over ways of settling the bills, taking to the streets in protest was not part of the plans to recover the debts.
He said, “It is true that we met in Eko Hotel, myself, Dr. Fasehun and General Shoot-at-Sight and we discussed how we are going to get paid for the job done for NNPC. But we did not say we would carry out any protest and that is why I came out to dissociate myself and my group from a plan by Dr. Fasehun to picket the offices of NNPC.
“We had a valid contract with the NNPC to protect pipelines in the South-West and some part of the Niger Delta. We have the papers and other legal documents. In fact, let me correct it here that the contract was for three months; nobody terminated it.
“About 4,000 workers were engaged by our companies – New Age Security Company owned by Dr. Fasehun; Galaxy Security Outfit Nigeria Limited owned by General Shoot-at-Sight and Donyx Global Concept Nigeria Limited owned by me.
“We had to source for loans to pay part of our workers’ salaries and after the three months, we met with NNPC to pay up and we are making progress. Dr. Fasehun is entitled to his opinion, but we don’t think it is wise to embark on any protest now which might heat up the polity and worsen the fuel scarcity.
“We are telling the NNPC, if you don’t renew the contract, at least pay for the job we did for three months. The plan to protest is Dr. Fasehun’s idea, not OPC’s. This is not a self actualisation struggle but business. If you start a protest and it is hijacked, there will be crisis and the people will say OPC is disturbing the peace. We are in touch with NNPC but protest is not part of it,” he said.
The factional leader, however, declined to disclose the worth of the contract and what his organisation would do if NNPC refused to pay up.
“That is not for the pages of newspapers,” he said.
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