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General News of Sunday, 16 January 2022

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Wike accuses police chief of operating illegal refinery, asks him to leave Rivers

Governor Nyesom Wike Governor Nyesom Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike has accused a divisional police officer in Rivers State of operating an illegal refinery in the state.

Mr Wike said the officer heads the police division in the Emohua Local Government Area of the state.

He demanded his redeployment from Rivers State.

“He must leave this state. I can’t be governor here and the security man owns an illegal refinery. No, it is not possible. The man has to go. Take him to wherever they allow bunkering,” Mr Wike said on Friday in Government House, Port Harcourt in a meeting with local council chairmen and heads of security agencies in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Eboka Friday, was at the meeting. The police have yet to comment on the governor’s allegation and his demand.

Mr Wike’s remarks were contained in a statement on Friday from his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri.

The governor said it was unfortunate and unbelievable for security officials in Nigeria to be involved in illegal bunkering. “I can’t believe it,” he said.

He accused the civil defence officer in charge of vandalisation of oil pipelines in the state of being a saboteur and demanded his immediate redeployment from Rivers.

Mr Wike has repeatedly said that the soot in Port Harcourt and its environs is caused by the operation of illegal refineries in the state, and has vowed to go after their operators.

The governor at the Friday meeting ordered the local council chairpersons in the state to go after the operators of illegal refineries.

‘It’s total war’

“I’ve called you here to tell you that it’s a total war. It is either we do it or we don’t do it. We cannot allow what is going on to continue. Two things – our people are dying, it’s shortening our own revenue.

“You check from the Federation Account, Akwa Ibom and Delta states are getting more, why? Because these boys of the cartel have caused so much problems for us. So we will not allow it,” Mr Wike said.

“Now, every council chairman must go and identify where illegal refineries are taking place. If you identify one, you get N2 million. So, go and identify as many as you can. I will pay N2 million for each one. I am going to fight against this. Our people are dying and we owe our people the responsibility to protect them, to save them from death they never caused.

“So, you must, and you’re given 48 hours to go and identify all illegal refineries sites, and those who are in charge of them,” the governor said to the council chairmen.

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