- There was a clash between some soldiers and personnel of the NSCDC on Friday, May 4
- The faceoff started when some trucks filled with petrol that have earlier been seized by the NSCDC were later impounded by some soldiers
- However, the state commandant of NSCDC, Godwin Nwachukwu, said that the two security agencies were resolving the disagreement
The 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Yenagoa, and the Bayelsa state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have clashed over seizure of two tankers loaded with petrol.
Some personnel of he NSCDC had on Friday, May 4, seized the trucks along the Ogbia-Nembe Road and was taking them to its command’s headquarters when soldiers of the 16 Brigade intercepted them and took the trucks to their base in Yenagoa, the state capital, the Punch reports.
The military men, who outnumbered the NSCDC personnel, took over the trucks and forced the civil defence operatives to take to their heels during a clash that ensued.
Operatives of the NSCDC maintained that it was their mandate under the law to handle oil theft and check diversion of petroleum products, whereas the soldiers claimed that the NSCDC’s operation was suspicious.
Major Danjuma Danjuma, the spokesman for the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, said on Monday, May 7, that the soldiers intercepted the trucks in a circumstances that appeared suspicious.
Danjuma remarked that samples of the products were undergoing laboratory tests to ascertain whether they were illegally refined or duly sourced from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as claimed by owners of the products.
He said until the suspicions were cleared, the trucks would remain with the army. Danjuma said: “The trucks are safe and the test results are expected in a few days.”
Godwin Nwachukwu, the state commandant of NSCDC, in his reaction to the development, said the two security agencies were resolving the disagreement.
Nwachukwu said: “Our personnel and some soldiers had an encounter on the field, but the leadership of the sister security agencies have stepped in and maturity has come to play; we are jointly handling the case.
“Our mandate is very clear when it comes to protecting oil and gas facilities, curbing oil theft and checking diversion of petroleum products. What happened was unfortunate, but due to the excellent relations we have, it is being resolved. We are working with the army and investigation is underway.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that fuel scarcity was set to hit Rivers and Bayelsa states as the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had ordered owners of filling stations in the two states to shut down operations and join its ongoing strike.
NUPENG in the zone was currently on strike which was prompted by the refusal of four firms operating in Rivers and Bayelsa states to abide by organisation's policy.
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