Army Major Protected Illegal Oil Bunkerers, Wike Reveals.
Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers state, said he prevented an army major from providing escort services to illicit refiners attempting to export refined goods out of the state.
After receiving intelligence that the rogue cop was offering escort services to operators of illegally refined petroleum products, the Governor took action, according to the Governor.
Governor Wike made the announcement at a meeting with traditional rulers at Government House’s Banquet Hall in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The conference was attended by the chiefs of security services as well as the chairpersons of the state’s 23 local government areas.
He said he had to dispatch security people to foil the unnamed major’s plans.
“In fact, I had to send my special security to go and intercept a major who was trying to escort some of these illegal products.”
The Governor further accused the police of failing to apprehend one Chief W. J. Wocha, Fubara Ohaka, and other members of the illicit bunkering gang operating in the state’s Emohua Local Government Area.
Wike chastised the police for being involved in the illicit oil bunkering crime.
Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have continued to be complicit and blatantly implicated in undermining the country’s economy, according to him.
“I don’t know how I can be a security officer sent to a place to protect people, to protect whatsoever belongs to the Federal Government, at the same time, I’m involved in sabotaging the national economy.
“I don’t understand how I can wear uniform and be involved in that. If they do not want to support us, we have no choice but to expose all the atrocities that is going on in this State.”
The governor stated that his government will not hesitate to reveal any security officers who are participating in unlawful refinery operations.
He promised that the identities of all those charged would be released shortly and that they would be proclaimed wanted, while also pushing traditional authorities in the state to stop allowing illicit crude oil artisanal refining to take place in their territories.
Traditional rulers were admonished by Wike that people participating in illicit refinery operations were undermining the country’s economy.
He expressed sorrow that the Federal Government, which oversees the oil industry and security agencies, has been unconcerned about the soot pandemic and the harm it is causing to Rivers State citizens’ health.
“I should think that the way federal government intends to fight insurgency, is the way they should fight illegal oil bunkering, because it is a sabotage on the national economy. Very big sabotage. It affects our own revenue.
“If we are supposed to produce 2 million barrels for example, we are now producing 1.2 million. And in that 1.2 million barrels, it affects Rivers state because we are not producing up to the number we are supposed to produce, and then we can’t get the money to do whatever you want us to do.
“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to see how this thing can be stopped. As I speak to you, nobody has called me from the Federal Government to say how they can support us.
“But that is not my business. My business is the health of my people. I will not because the federal government is not interested to stop it, therefore my people should die. If everybody dies, who are you going to govern.”