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Oil crooks behind fresh blackmail, smear campaign against Kyari – CSOs

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Sunday said it has uncovered a fresh plot by embittered oil thieves to blackmail, smear and tarnish…

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Sunday said it has uncovered a fresh plot by embittered oil thieves to blackmail, smear and tarnish the image of the group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari.

The CSOs, consisting of 42 different organizations, said the move by the oil thieves whose businesses have been truncated by the recent stoppage of payment for fuel subsidy by the Federal Government and the total war declared by the Kyari-led NNPCL against oil theft and pipeline vandals, is to disinform and set Nigerians against the national oil company and its top officials under false pretext of fighting for public interest over the temporary pain being experienced as a result of the subsidy removal.

A statement signed by Abubakar Ibrahim, convener; Bashir Faisal, Comrade Rafiu Shaibu, co-conveners of the 42 CSOs, noted that having failed in their several bids to malign him, they have now engaged some faceless, fictitious and unknown groups to gather in the streets and cause public disturbance in the name of protest, calling for the removal of NNPCL GCEO.

While calling on security agencies to beam their searchlights on these groups and their sponsors, the CSOs urged Nigerians to ignore the noisemakers who are playing the cards of their corrupt, fraudulent oil crooks who have milked Nigeria dry for their personal gains.

Part of the statement reads: “Nigerians will recall that first, these corrupt oil marketers and crooks sponsored fake news on social media in June that the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had sacked the GCEO of the NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari.

“This narrative, however “didn’t fly as officials at the Presidency later debunked it as fake news.

“Not desirous of backing down on their ill-fated venture, they have now contracted a faceless and unknown group to mobilise innocent Nigerians to the street with a paltry sum to achieve their motives.

“It’s however interesting that Kyari’s sins are his stance and fight against some sudden oil billionaires who are milking the country’s resources with the continuous payment of fuel subsidy by the federal government and also, through crude oil theft.

“We understand their frustration and pains, but they should know that it’s no longer business as usual. They can no longer divert our commonwealth. Rather, these resources shall be used to create more jobs and make Nigeria better.

“They can no longer divert and smuggle petroleum products to neighbouring countries where they sell at higher rates and thus make more profit even after collecting subsidy money from the Nigerian government.

“The era of some persons feeding fat on our common wealth is gone. We don’t have any other country; Nigeria is our own and we must join hands together to make of work.

“Therefore, the incessant attack and vituperation against the NNPCL and its GCEO can not stop the good works he (Kyari) is doing.

“It’s laughable that they are calling for the removal of a man who has restored the glory of the national oil company. A man who brought transparency, accountability, performance and excellence into the company by returning the NNPC to a profit-making entity after several years of operating at a loss.

“Unfortunately, Nigerians are wiser. They know your games, but they have failed even before they were hatched.

“Nigerians should also know that for the first time in over 40 years of its existence, the NNPCL under Kyari is beginning to win the war against corruption in the system, pipeline vandalism and oil theft which has led to a major increase in daily oil production.

“We further use this medium to call on the security to investigate these faceless groups and their sponsors who are bent on killing the nations with lies and hatred in their bid to loot the economy,” the group noted.