Cole Emphasizes the Importance of Addressing Oil Thieves and Including Them in Discussions

Tonye Cole, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State, has emphasized the need to involve oil thieves in discussions on putting an end to oil bunkering in the Niger Delta. Cole, a former Executive Director of Sahara Energy, made these remarks during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

According to Cole, the individuals responsible for oil theft in the region are not concealed and should be included in the conversation. He acknowledged that some of them may have emerged from the creeks and undergone noticeable lifestyle changes, such as acquiring new houses, cars, and spending significant amounts of money. In the past, displaying wealth without a clear source would have resulted in social ostracization, but the societal attitude has shifted, with little concern for the origins of one’s wealth.

Cole emphasized that the allegation made by Dokubo, accusing the military of involvement in oil theft, is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. While acknowledging that the military may be angered by Dokubo’s claims, Cole stated that it would be unreasonable to deny the existence of corrupt elements within the military who facilitate and collaborate with illegal bunkering activities.

The APC chieftain stressed that unless the issue of illegal bunkering is effectively tackled, the oil and gas sector may require a state of emergency to address the situation adequately.

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