Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has accused multinational oil firms of sponsoring terrorism through the award of pipeline security and surveillance contracts to a candidate of a major political party.
The governor, who spoke on the forthcoming November 16 gubernatorial election at the weekend, alleged that the oil firms were operating like mafians and have maintained a firm grip on the oil-producing communities in the state to neutralise any form of resistance to their nefarious activities in the communities.
He alleged that the contractors primarily engage dubious individuals who in turn inflict terror against the oil-bearing communities.
The governor also accused the surveillance contractors of operating militia groups working under them to inflict terror on the society.
“What has happened is that the oil companies are giving surveillance contracts to these young boys most of who are outlaws. I have said it several times that they are working towards having a mafia-like hold in our communities.
“These boys are like a parallel government. Somebody has close to a billion naira every month and the only thing he does is to look for criminally-minded people to engage and just pay them money and use them to maim and kill anybody he disagrees with,” he said.
Dickson said it was disheartening that a lot of innocent persons have been maimed and killed gruesomely by the militias operating as oil surveillance contractors.