I want to participate in Nigeria’s oil patrimony. I want a slice of my share, a couple of oil blocks here and there won’t be bad. Nigeria coughs out millions of barrels of oil per day, yet poverty continues to roundly chew up Nigerians before spitting them out like expired chewing gum.

I want to have my share of the $3.72 billion of stolen oil from Nigeria between January 2021 and 2022.

Give me my share of the $700 million lost to oil thieves monthly which has left some Nigerians dirt-poor and others stupendously rich.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer only has larger-than-life poverty to show for its oil exertions and exhaustion.

Thus, I am staking my claim to participate in the oil jamboree. It is no longer a crime. I want to participate. Everyone is involved and being Nigerian means it inheres in me to be an oil thief in one way or the other.

I am not unaware of the formalization, socialization, and civilization of oil theft as alternative oil export. I am not blind to the unauthorized but accepted non-government oil sales. I am not ignorant of the legalization of oil theft.

I want to get involved because it is no more a crime. It is now democratized. Its wheels get turned by few economic juggernauts with international contacts marching in lockstep with criminals from the international community.

I am acutely aware that I would need partners for this because it would be impossible without contacts, technical know-how, state powers and foreign collaborators.

I am Igbo, so I am ready to go through oil-theft apprenticeship I already have ready access to experienced and exposed people who can teach me patience in apprenticeship. I can wait. I have the resources to wait. My savings would save me on the rainy day.

Poor and wretched hustlers are not invited to what is no longer a crime, where the only punishment is more expenses, expenditure, and expedition for the government.

The net effect is more committees to probe and prove what everyone already knows; press statements pregnant with nothing; disagreement on volumes of oil theft from participants.

What do we get but organized confusion, simulated interagency disagreements exaggerated as war games?

The destruction of the illegal refineries of those caught in oil theft beats me. The sheer stupidity of it all shocks me. This is because it makes nonsense of local content and vocational training.

It affects Industrialization, regional economic development, energy/power transmission, and aids the distortion and destruction of our eco-space.

We live in an age of deception and extraordinary delusion designed to deceive a gullible and impressionable public.

Nigerians are good with names. I know this because what has been baptized as oil theft is actually alternative unaccounted oil export.

It Is an international crime operated by a structured, strategic and economic syndicate. It is well- coordinated and organized.

It is like stealing an aircraft. To steal an aircraft, one needs a pilot and the necessary aviation-regulated agencies to provide the structure and support systems. A pilot cannot fly without a control towers or lest he will fly into danger.

Shipping stolen oil is also a very technical business. These power deals are not for the faint of heart or boys and street guys.

It operates like the shadowy arms, narcotics or illicit money trade. It is for the big fish who have an abundance of power, authority, and influence.

In Nigeria today, three major industries are indeed the most lucrative: oil theft, banditry/murder code named “ herder-farmer conflicts,” and election fraud/violence and terrorism baptized as“ rigging.”

I am not interested in all three because the vengeance of blood must speak. I am interested in oil theft because of elite consensus and agreement backed up by forces and cabal.

I remember Charles Taylor, the former Liberian President, warlord and war criminal who supposedly escaped from a secure US prison only to land in the West Africa sub-region.

How did he do it given that the US is obsessed with its security? That great escape that did not attract any sanction from or condemnation or action by the ICC or FBI shares similarities with oil theft.

If there was a proper agreement and arrangement with all the stakeholders, Taylor could have completed his escape from Calabar.

Make me an oil thief, please. This is my appeal and application!

Ike Willie-Nwobu



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