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Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has responded to the insinuations by a group associated with the Presidential and Vice-presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima that the CNPP was engaging in what it described as “Cheap Blackmail” for accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) management team of incompetence and corruption, insisting that corrupt officials cannot effectively fight corruption in the company.
The group, Tinubu Shettima Network (TSN), had maligned the CNPP for calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to purge the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) of an alleged corrupt management team if the president wishes to end the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.
The group had said, “We expected CNPP to blame OPEC quota on oil thieves and the recent fuel scarcity on marketers rather NNPCL. Is it NNPC staff that are stealing oil. It is a cartel and the security agencies and politicians are involved and this has been happening since 1983 in this country?”
However in a reply issued by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP noted that “in the first place, the use of a group associated with Tinubu to respond to a glary case of incompetence manifesting in fuel scarcity and unfortunate hike in pump price of petrol is a confirmation of the CNPP position.”
The CNPP added that Tinubu is the only politician in Nigeria who receives missing bullion vans according to his spokesperson, Comrade Ayodele Adewale who told the world that bullion vans pictured in his house missed their way.
“So, when one Kailani Muhammad, an associate of Tinubu speaks on corruption related defence, no citizen can take him seriously. The corrupt will most likely defend the corrupt.
“The CNPP, as the umbrella association of registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria, reiterates that setting up a 14-man Committee by President Muhammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the problems surrounding the supply and distribution chain of petroleum products in the country was an open indictment of the management team of the newly registered NNPC Limited.
“The Tinubu group had argued that since the repositioning of NNPC, nobody or leader can deep hands in NNPC’s coffers to steal money, but since the company was registered, unending fuel scarcity has worsened hardship burdens Nigerians have to bear under the APC government.
“Some experts have revealed that Nigeria losses about 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day to oil thieves while others put the stolen crude oil at 80 percent of Nigeria’s daily production.
“A vessel takes days to load crude oil and if as much as 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day is stolen, NNPCL must be complicit or incompetent.
“The NNPC has been accused by military sources of providing valid papers for some vessels after the illegal vessels have been arrested.
“That’s why many experts have continued to wonder aloud how vessels with stolen crude manage to beat the security agencies, especially the navy, to enter the country to illegally take the crude without connivance of NNPCL officials.
“Therefore, it is not out of blackmail for CNPP to point accusing fingers on the NNPCL management over continued oil theft and subsidy scam. It’s out of genuine concern as the corrupt cannot effectively fight corruption.
“This is why NNPC continued to defend allegation that it has been inflating figures released for the daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country.
“Recall that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, and the state governors have at different times alleged an inflation by almost 50 percent in the NNPC figures on petrol consumption and demanded a probe of oil subsidy payments from 2015 till date to no avail”, the CNPP stated.