Army officers behind illegal oil bunkering in Rivers

*Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja, in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Mkpoikana Udoma

Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has again accused men and officers of the Nigerian Army of compromising in their responsibility of curbing illegal oil bunkering activities in the state, to become kingpins in the illegal business.

Governor Fubara who said this when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, on a courtesy visit at the Government House on Friday, said that the Army officers involved are attached to an oil company in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state.

The governor who expressed concerns on the difficulty his administration was facing in tackling the challenges of illegal oil bunkering activities, urged the Chief of Army Staff to call his men and officers serving in the state to order.

He said, “One special problem that we have here is the issue of illegal oil bunkering. In Ahoada East and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, most of the oil bunkering activities there, we believe, are subsisting because there is this cooperation between the Army and the oil companies.

“I’m saying this because there is this road we are constructing in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, and each time the contractors approach this particular company to solicit cooperation to enable them to carry out their obligations, the military always attack the contractors.”

Governor Fubara expressed he had tried to resolve the situation without success because of the vested interest that the officers have. He urged the Chief of Army Staff to look into the matter and call the officers to order.

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“Carrying out some assignments with any company does not give any individual powers to decide how things should be done for the state.”

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja said he was in Port Harcourt as part of a visit to formations and units under his command following his assumption of office.

He thanked Governor Fubara for his continuous support, intervention and cooperation with the army to perform its operations that have fostered peace and stability in the State.

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