17th January, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Council chairmen in Rivers State have stormed bushes and hideouts of illegal artisanal refiners, busting their operations.
Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Council, George Ariolu and his counterparts, at the weekend, smashed depots used for the storage of illegally refined petroleum products.
Storage facilities uncovered by the Obio-Akpor council boss team are located at Ogbogoro and Eligbam communities.
He also found an illegal refined petroleum products dump yard at Rumuolumeni communities of Mgboduohia and Minikpete.
Ariolu restated that the soot menace is a battle for everyone and not for government alone to tackle.
He accused some security personnel of aiding and abetting those involved in the pollution of the environment through their collaboration.
Chairman of Etche Local Government Area, Obinna Anyanwu and his team also discovered and dismantled two oil bunkering dump sites located at Akwa and Odagwa waterfronts boundaries between Rivers and Abia States.
Anyanwu was accompanied by security agencies and members of the Etche Local Government TaskForce/Oil Bunkering to the illegal oil dump sites.
He gave an assurance that his administration will continue to rid the area of illegal crude oil refiners in ensuring a safety and healthy environment for the people.
The Etche Council Chairman directed the committee in-charge of oil bunkering to collaborate with the security agencies in fishing out anyone who might be involved in illegal oil refining.
Also to be target, he said, are those using Etche as a route to transport their illegal refined products to neighbouring states.
In Eleme local government area, an enforcement team was led by the Chairman, Obarilormate Ollor.
The team was accompanied by security personnel, Eleme Youth Coordinator, Prince N. Okereke, the Chief Security Officer, Brain Gokpa, Special Assistant to the Chairman on illegal bunkering and artisanal mining, Mr Chika Alale Oluji.
Seven refining points were discovered and destroyed.
Two fully loaded oil badges were equally discovered and destroyed.