Governor Nyesom Wike has asked that police officers operating illegal refineries in Rivers state be redeployed.
The governor gave the order on Friday during a meeting with local government chairpersons and security agencies held at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Ordering the state police commissioner, Eboka Friday, to immediately redeploy a divisional police officer also operating an illegal refinery site in the state, Mr Wike described as unfortunate security agents involvement in illegal bunkering.
According to the governor, the police officers must leave the state, directing the police commissioner to arrest Chief W. J. Wocha, Fubara Ohaka, and Promise Ezekwe, for operating illegal refineries inside the forest of Ibaa community in Emohua LGA in the state.
“It’s unfortunate for this country how security people will be involved in illegal bunkering. I can’t believe it. Mr CP, I thank you for transferring the DPO in Rumuji, who owns a refinery.
“But the man must leave here, not be transferred. He must leave this state. I can’t be Governor here and the security man owns an illegal refinery. No, it is not possible,” Mr Wike said.
During the meeting, the governor issued a 48-hour ultimatum to LG chairpersons to provide a list of illegal refinery sites and their operators within their areas.
The governor told the local government chairpersons that “It’s a total war… It is either we do it or we don’t do it.”
He said that they cannot continue to fold their hands while the illegal bunkering continues to threaten the lives of the people and the state economy.
“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.
“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,” Mr Wike told the chairpersons.