TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Ezenwo Wike, has berated the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Jamil Sarhem, for running an illegal oil-bunkering squad for the purpose of financing his quest to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.
Governor Wike declared that any attempt to appoint the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, as the Chief of Army Staff, would spell doom for the nation’s failing security architecture.
He spoke during a courtesy visit by the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said: “The GOC is doing illegal bunkering, which he is using to finance his quest to emerge as the country’s Chief of Army Staff.
“He has his own team that is making money for him through oil bunkering.”
He accused the GOC of the 6 Division of compromising security in the state through illegal actions.
“We will have a security meeting and he will release the details to criminals. And the Chief of Army Staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.
“How will the security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? He will compromise when fighting to reduce crime; they sent us a GOC, who destroys the security architecture of the state.”
Governor Wike wondered what the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe would do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering team of the GOC.
Governor Wike said that Rivers people stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a governor on the state during the elections.
“A man came to plot a coup. The people resisted him for plotting a coup. You want to impose a party that has no candidate for National Assembly and State Assembly elections on the people. How will such a party win the governorship election? A party that nobody has seen their posters. Rivers people said no.
“He has result sheets. Let him bring the result sheets to the tribunal. The army now has result sheets. That is now part of their mandate.”
Governor Wike assured the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe that the Rivers government will support their operations to ensure that they defend the Niger Delta, especially the state.
He said: “Anybody, who wants to help us to fight crime, I will support. I will never support those involved in illegal refineries.”
Real Admiral Akinrinade, thanked the governor for the supply of gunboats, security vehicles and finances for security operations in the area.
He assured the governor that the Joint Task Force would not relent in fighting crime in the state.
“Governor Wike is a consummate politician and grassroots leader. As a man, who understands national security, he understands that national security itself is local.
“We want to seriously commend you on the numerous achievements you have made since your tenure. I will like to take this opportunity to congratulate the governor on the renewal of your mandate to serve the people of Rivers State for another four years,” he said.
The commander said that the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe had recorded successes in the protection of oil and gas facilities and the maintenance of internal security in the area.
He appealed to the leaders to engage the youths to shun crime and criminality for the development of the state.
Meanwhile, the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, has dismissed the allegation leveled against the GOC by the state governor.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, told our correspondent that Governor Wike should provide proof to buttress his claims.
“He should provide verifiable facts to prove his allegation. It is not just enough to accuse someone of something. You must have facts to prove what you are saying,” Iliyasu stated.