Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Jamil Sarhem of illegal oil bunkering. He said the army chief is hoping to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.
Wike cautioned that appointing Sarham as the Chief of Army Staff would not be good for the nation’s security architecture.
Speaking yesterday, during a courtesy visit by the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike
accused the GOC of allegedly compromising security in Rivers State.
“How will security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? They sent us a GOC, who destroys the security architecture of the state,” he said.
Governor Wike wondered what the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, would do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering.
He said Rivers people stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a governor on the state during the elections.
He said: “The people resisted him; 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.”
Governor Wike assured the Commander of Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, that the Rivers government would support their operations to ensure they defend the Niger Delta, especially the state.
He said: “Anybody, who wants to help us fight crime, I will support.”
Commander of Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, 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.
He said: “Governor Wike is a consummate politician and grassroots leader. He understands that National security itself is local.
“We want to seriously commend you for your 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.”
The commander said the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, has recorded successes in the protection of oil and gas facilities and the maintenance of internal security in the area.
He appealed to leaders to engage youths to shun crime and criminality for the development of the state.
Meanwhile, the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, has dismissed the allegations levelled against the GOC by the state governor.
Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, told Daily Sun 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.