Major General Ibrahim Bata Malgwi Haruna, a former Commissioner for Information and Culture, has stated that Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta Militants leader, does not possess the moral authority to accuse the Nigerian military of oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
During a press conference after a meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the State House, Dokubo accused the military high command of complicity in oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta. He claimed that ordinary citizens do not have the resources and technology necessary to engage in oil bunkering, especially when it involves directly tapping crude oil through connecting pipes.
Dokubo, who denied having a private security force, also mentioned his role in resolving conflicts in the Niger and Kaduna areas of the country.
However, speaking on Arise TV’s The Morning Show, Major General Haruna asserted that individuals like Asari Dokubo lack the moral standing to speak on oil theft in the country unless they are willing to apologize to Nigerians.
Haruna questioned Dokubo’s own involvement in oil theft, asking, “Is Asari Dokubo free from oil theft? Is he not a beneficiary of oil theft? How did he finance his empire over there? Maybe he is accusing soldiers and lower-level individuals of stealing jerricans of petrol while he himself is behind the massive theft and enjoying millions of dollars stashed in his bank accounts.”
He further expressed his belief that the focus on Dokubo and others is a result of the failures of security and operational efforts. Haruna suggested that those who point fingers at the military and other services are often implicated themselves, and their actions contribute to the situation.
“In the Nigerian context, they would not have achieved what they have if they were not deeply involved in oil spills. Their association with oil theft is undeniable,” Haruna emphasized.
The remarks from Major General Haruna highlight the complex dynamics and challenges surrounding the issue of oil theft in the Niger Delta region, calling for a comprehensive examination of the situation to address the root causes and hold all responsible parties accountable.