Nyesome Wike, Rivers governor, says he has identified and will arrest persons who are alleged to be involved in oil bunkering and illegal refinery activities in the state.
In a press statement on Sunday, Kelvin Ebiri, Wike’s special assistant on media, said the governor disclosed this in a statewide broadcast on Sunday.
TheCable had reported how residents of the state are dying slowly as a result of the soot pollution caused by illegal oil refining.
Ebiri said the government has resolved to “pragmatically tackle the soot pandemic by destroying and closing down all identified illegal crude oil refining sites and activities in the state”.
He said the governor has declared 19 operators of illegal crude oil refining sites wanted for the soot pollution in the state.
Wike also directed the Rivers state head of service to query one Temple Amakiri, a director in the ministry of energy, for abetting bunkering activities and hand him over to the police for investigation and possible prosecution.
“Furthermore, the following persons who have been identified as kingpins of bunkering and illegal crude oil refining activities in their communities have been declared wanted and directed to report themselves to the State Police Command, to whom we have already passed their details to,” Wike was quoted as saying.
“Mr. Azubike Amadi, OSPAC Commander, Ogbogoro community and Chairman of Akpor Central OSPAC; Mr. India, of Rumuolumeni community and Chairman of Oil bunkering Association in Akpor kingdom; Mr. Okey who is in charge of Oil bunkering in Rumupareli; Mr. Anderson, who is in charge of oil bunkering activities in Ogbogoro community; Amadi Gift of Ogbogoro community; Azeruowa of Ogbogoro community; and Kingsley Egbula, also of Ogbogoro community.
“Also declared wanted are the following persons who are alleged to be in charge of oil bunkering activities in Isiokpo community: Mr. Kemkom Azubike, Mr. Mezu Wabali, Mr. Chigozi Amadi, Mr. Opurum Owhondah, Mr. Bakasi Obodo ,Mr. Opus, Mr. Galaxi Mas, Mr. Chioma, Mr. Ogondah, Mr. Soldier, Mr. Chefo, and Nkasi.
“We have also identified those behind illegal bunkering activities in Okrika communities, Port Harcourt Township, Rivers South-East and Rivers South-West Senatorial Districts and their names would be soon published and declared wanted, if they fail to voluntarily report to the police.”
The governor asked residents of the state to report those involved in illegal crude oil refining and other illegal activities to the task forces set up at the state and local government levels for immediate action.