By Adedapo Adesanya
The Rivers State Government has declared 19 persons wanted for operating illegal crude oil refining sites allegedly responsible for the carcinogenic hydrocarbon soot prevalent in the state.
The state’s governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, in a statewide broadcast on Sunday reiterated the government’s resolve to tackle the soot pandemic by destroying and closing down operations of all identified illegal refinery operators in the state.
He also directed the Rivers State Head of Service to query one Mr 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.
He stated that following his 2022 New Year Message outlining measures to tackle the black soot menace, the state Task Force on Illegal Street Trading raided some illegal crude oil refining sites in Port Harcourt and arrested a number of recalcitrant persons.
“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:
“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,” he declared.
He urged residents of the state to report those involved in illegal crude oil refineries and other damnable activities to the Task Forces already set up at the state and local government levels for immediate action.
Governor Wike also reaffirmed the total ban on the use of motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt councils, which was necessitated […]