A memo was written, its content was made public, there were summons to the Presidential Villa and now soldiers are being deployed.

The face-off between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has taken a new twist.

Moments after Kachikwu met with President Muhamamdu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Friday, the NNPC boss, Baru was also sighted in the villa.

As Kachikwu's meeting with Buhari was ongoing, armed security men from the Nigeria Police Force and the Army were sighted at the entrance of the oil firm.

Police pickup vans and armoured personnel carriers were conspicuously stationed on both sides of the roads that lead to the NNPC.

It was learnt that the deployment was sequel to a request by the security department of the corporation.

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A source at the security department said that the move had become necessary due to the tension generated by the memo written by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

The minister, had in the memo accused the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, of insubordination.

NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, however, described the development as normal.

He said, “From time to time, we do that. They were there like that sometime last month, and so on and so forth. However, you are aware that this is the country’s national oil corporation and it needs security presence, just like the kind of heavy security presence at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“So it is not unusual. The security men are always there. Last month, they sent mobile police and military contingents here. Do you expect a national oil corporation not to have security presence?”

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