Dr Fredrick Fasehun, the founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), wants the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to pay him and his organisation for protecting oil pipelines.
The Punch reports that the national chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria made this disclosure at a quarterly interactive media roundtable in Lagos on Tuesday, December 22, informed that six companies were given the contract by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to guard pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to him, not less than 18,000 personnel were sent to the field out of which 4,000 were members of the OPC and they did not get anything before the contract.
“We were given the contract on March 15, 2015 and we deployed youths into the jungle. They faced insects, snakes and other wild animals and some of them even died. The government did not pay us a kobo before or during the time of the contract which ended on June 15.
“We have asked our lawyers to study the terms of the contract. An official in the NNPC told me that we had been paid but I told him that we had not received a penny. We call the attention of the powers that be to look into this. The holy books say that a worker deserves his wage,” Faseun stated.
The OPC founder recalled that the former national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had few weeks to the presidential election, questioned the rationale behind the contract which was awarded prior to the election.
He therefore urged the information minister to apologise for his statement, stating: “Someone who is now a minister once told Nigerians that I collected N2.8bn. Lai Mohammed, who I call a liar, is now the government’s mouthpiece and he must correct that impression.”
On Buhari’s six-month administration, Faseun noted that, “Nigerians are angry today. They wanted a change and cheered when the APC came into power but the cheer has now become a jeer. Let the government know that this is not the change Nigerians voted for.”
The group, through its national president, Otunba Gani Adams, has also urged the federal government to dialogue with members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).