From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the 23 local government area chairmen to hire bulldozers and destroy every identified illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery sites in the state.
He also asked the Commissioner for Police, Eboka Friday, to provide adequate security for the local government area chairmen as they embark on the mass destruction of illegal refinery sites across the state.
Governor Wike gave the order yesterday, during a meeting with the 23 local government area chairmen, the commissioner of police and the commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike had, on Friday, January 14, 2022, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the 23 local government area chairmen to provide him a comprehensive list of all illegal refinery sites and their operators within their respective jurisdictions.
The governor said with the receipt of the list of identified illegal refinery sites, the state government would provide financial support to council chairmen to hire bulldozers and swamp buggies to destroy all the sites.
He urged the police commissioner to give the local government area chairmen adequate security personnel to go and destroy all illegal refinery sites.
According to the governor, the government would not allow those engaged in illegitimate business to operate in Rivers State.
The governor, however, warned that he would personally visit the inspector general of police, the NSCDC commandant general and the chief of army staff in Abuja, to report any of their personnel implicated in illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery activities in Rivers State.
The governor, who regretted failure of the Federal Government to take any action to end the soot crisis in the oil producing states, said his administration could not fold its arms and watch some deviant persons destroy the environment and health of the citizens.