Identify Illegal Refinery Sites, Operators Now, Wike Orders LG Presidents…Demands Transfer of DPO, NSCDC Agent Involved in Act…Promises N2m Bounty on Each Site – :::…The Tide News Online :::…
Rivers State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to 23 local government chairmen to provide a full list of illegal refineries and their operators in their jurisdiction.
Wike gave the ultimatum in a meeting with the chairpersons and chiefs of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police, Service Command of State (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) at Government House last Friday.
The governor challenged council presidents to prove they were not complicit in nefarious business that continues to threaten the health of Rivers residents and the national economy.
Wike said that as a responsible government, it would be unwise for them to fold their hands and do nothing to protect state residents from the death imposed on them by artisanal refinery operators in mind. criminal.
“Now every council chairman has to go and identify where the illegal refineries are. If you identify one you get 2 million naira. So go ahead and identify as many as you can. I will pay N2million for each “And I’m going to fight against that. Our people are dying, and we owe it to our people to protect them, to save them from a death they never caused.”
“So you have to, and you have 48 hours to go and identify all the illegal refinery sites, and those who are in charge of them.”
Wike stressed that any council chairman who is afraid to join the fight against criminals operating illegal refineries should be prepared to step down.
According to the governor, part of their social contract with their people was also to protect them and stop any illegal economic practices in their domains.
“I called you here to tell you that this is total war. It’s either we do it or we don’t. We cannot allow what is happening to continue. Two things: our people are dying; it reduces our own income.
“You are checking from the Federation account, Akwa Ibom and Delta states are getting more, why? Because those cartel boys got us into so much trouble. So we won’t allow it.
The Governor of Rivers State has also frowned on the security agencies for the role some of their members have played in aiding and providing cover to operators of illegal refineries in the state.
The governor on Friday urged state police commissioner Mr. Eboka to redeploy out-of-state a particular DPD in the Emohua Local Government Area who operates an illegal refinery in the area.
“It is unfortunate for this country that security officers are involved in illegal bunkering. I can not believe it. Mr CP, thank you for transferring the DPO of Rumuji which has a refinery. But the man has to get out of here, not mutated. He must leave this state. I can’t be governor here and a security guard owns an illegal refinery. No, it’s not possible… the man must leave. Take it where they allow bunkering.
Wike ordered CP to immediately arrest Chief WJ Wocha, Fubara Ohaka and Chief Promise Ezekwe, who have been accused of operating illegal refineries deep in the Ibaa Community Forest in the Government Area. Emohua local.
The Governor further urged the Commander of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Rivers State Command, to immediately transfer his personnel dealing with pipeline vandalism in the state.
“Transfer this man and tell him to leave. He’s a complete saboteur. I mean, how can the security men be involved in this? What kind of country are we?
The governor urged the DSS to profile those involved in the heinous illegal refining trade, and make the list available to him, and assured him to act on the list.
Previously, Rivers State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike vowed not to spare anyone involved in the illegal bunkering and artisanal refining activities that caused the soot pandemic in the state.
Wike maintained that his administration will not succumb to any form of blackmail or sentiment that will be stirred up by these perpetrators in an attempt to thwart efforts to curb these dangerous activities.
The Governor made the vow when he toured, taking a long walk through the trail roads in the Ogbodo Community Forest in the Ikwerre Local Government Area, and the Ogbodo Community Forest in ‘Ibaa in the Emohua Local Government Area, with the Rivers State Police Commissioner. , Eboka Friday, and other security chiefs, to uncover some illegal crude oil refining sites.
“They can’t do this and kill my people. No reasonable government will allow it. And I can tell you with all due respect, we will take this matter very seriously.
“Look how, every day, in your house, you see the soot. I mean, how can you allow this? So whatever we can solve, we will solve.
“We have assured the people of Rivers State that we will fight this case to the end until I leave office.”
Wike noted that taking on this kind of seemingly cartel business won’t be easy. But, he however swore to consider it as a situation of war and to fight it from the standpoint of law.
According to the governor, however highly placed the perpetrators are, they will not be spared, but confronted, apprehended and subjected to the full force of the law.
Wike therefore ordered State Attorney General and Attorney General Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, to take over the files of the illegal crude oil refinery operators arrested by the police.
“Attorney General, all these cases with the police, you have to get the files back so that you can pursue the cases on our own. I don’t want any compromise anywhere.
“And then also, it will not be about the ministry. You need to build a legal team. Go get our friends all over the country, so we can execute this pursuit to the end.
“It’s a serious matter. And I’m going to take it head on. In fact, this is a war. It’s not the poor doing this, it’s a cartel. You have to go and arrest these people; Chief WJ Wocha, you have to stop Fubara Ohaka and Chief Promise Ezekwe. You have to stop them.
“It doesn’t matter how well placed you are. If you wish, be the Supreme Ruler. In fact, any traditional ruler involved, choose him for me. Let him understand that the law respects no one.
Speaking further, Wike ordered Emohua Council Chairman Dr. Chidi Lloyd to locate residences where processed crude oil products are stored and let people verify their sources.
Wike said the goal of dealing with this devastation is to ensure that the health of the people of Rivers is not further harmed by these illegal refining activities.
“Otherwise our people will continue to die. Even you are not immune to related diseases like cancer. All these products in homes; you have to go after them; they must tell you where they got the products. Enough is enough.
“Look what is happening, they are dying. I want to live. So, we have to stop this illegal refinery activity.
“And I said to the federal government; if you’re not ready to do anything, don’t promise people anything. You told them you would do something, how can you promise a modular refinery.
“What I’m talking about is the safety of the people of Rivers. It’s more important to me.”
Explaining the ugly experience people in the community have endured, Emohua Local Government Area Chairman Dr. Chidi Lloyd noted that the problem of illegal refining activities in the area is beyond the council’s ability to to manage.
He wondered why the federal government that once promised to establish modular refineries in the Niger Delta region reneged on that promise.
“Thank God for your boldness. Residents now know. On a daily basis, people roast and burn here. The entire Ibaa community has been invaded by this trade.
“And when you talk, they say look, if they don’t do that, they’ll go out on the roads and start carrying guns. And I tell them, you don’t dig a hole to cover another one. Your business shouldn’t kill me.
Earlier, the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, led the Governor around the illegal oil refining site at Ogbodo-Isiokpo in the Ikwerre Local Government Area.