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OPC to Police: Produce three missing pipeline security operatives

The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) has asked the Police to produce three of its operatives guarding petroleum pipelines for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Shagamu, Ogun State.
According to a statement Monday by the organisation, those missing are: Babatunde Adeyemi, Roland Ajayi and Orungbeja Dele-Osagie.
The trio reportedly went missing after a confrontation with the Police in the Shagamu, Ogun State, axis of the pipeline security contract that OPC holds with the Federal Government through the New Age Global Business Ltd.
In the statement issued in Lagos by Prince Sylvester Eweka, the OPC Publicity Secretary, the organisation said that the men went missing after an armed military task force attempted to forcefully eject them from their area of operation at the pipeline.
The three men were part of the 4,000 private security operatives employed by New Age Global Business Ltd, the contractor NNPC hired to provide security against criminals engaged in pipeline vandalism and petroleum products stealing.
At the weekend, NNPC abruptly sent an SMS message terminating the pipeline security contract with effect from June 15, 2015.
The OPC security outfits involved in the contract are being owed three months by the NNPC, and they have been unable to pay personnel on the project.
On Sunday, a lorry-load of task force members invaded the Shagamu area, claiming it had orders to forcefully reclaim control of the pipeline area.
Irked by this unceremonious move, the private security operatives said they had no signal from their management to vacate the site.
However, after the ensuing fracas, three men could not be accounted for by their team leaders.
Many of the private security operatives fled the scene, amidst shooting by the task force.
The statement said, “The action of the Task Force is suspect. We have been rendering selfless and patriotic service to protect the nation’s pipelines and prevent vandals from stealing petroleum products. How come it is our patriotic security operatives who are now being harassed, haunted and brutalised?
“Apart from the missing men, the uniformed men also carted away telephone handsets and cash.
“The deadline for the termination of the contract is not today, why this inordinate haste by these uniformed men?”
Attempts to reach the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Mr. Joseph Mbu were unsuccessful.
“We want this matter resolved as quickly as possible and we fear the worst has happened to these missing men,” the statement said, adding, “We also demand that the NNPC immediately takes responsibility for the damages caused the group and ensure swift payment of all arrears.”

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