HomeFeaturesCrude Oil Thieves, Illegal Refiners Enemies Of State – Otti

Crude Oil Thieves, Illegal Refiners Enemies Of State – Otti

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The Governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti has lamented the springing up of illegal refineries in the state, warning that those behind the ugly act would face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Otti urged members of the Joint Task Force South South, Operation Delta Safe, to intensify their fight against oil theft and illegal operation of refineries in the state.

In a release issued by Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor which was made available to The Eastern Updates, Otti expressed this view on Friday, when he received a delegation of the sector commanders of the Joint Task Force team charged with the responsibility of securing oil and gas operations in 10 states of the South South, South East, and South West.

He criticized the operations of illegal refiners in Abia and cautioned that they would be subject to legal prosecution if apprehended.

“Those who operate illegal refineries and other activities, those are the enemies of the state should be treated as such.

Read Also: Otti Mulls Construction Of Modular Refineries In Abia

“Be they in Aba or in Ukwa or Port Harcourt or Bayelsa or any of the other 10 states, where you operate, the long arm of the government must be made to catch up with them.

“For us, we do not support any illegality by anybody in any form. You can take it for granted that we, as a government, will give you all the support to carry out your operation here,” Governor Otti assured.

He implored the task force to also work to secure the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park (AIIP) at Owaza, in Ukwa West and assured them of the support of the state government in terms of logistics and intelligence sharing to make their assignment easier.

Governor Otti, while describing security as a top priority of his government, emphasized that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity.

He pointed out that citizens of Abia State had enjoyed relative peace within the last one year, until the incident at Obikabia Junction, on Thursday, May 30, where five soldiers of the Nigerian Army were brutally killed by criminals, adding that government was working round the clock to unravel the perpetrators and consequently bring them to book.

The Commander, Joint Task Force South South Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral John Okeke, said he was in Abia to familiarise himself with the state as one of their coverage areas in the fight against oil theft and illegal refineries among the oil producing states.

Rear Admiral Okeke, who used the opportunity to acquaint the governor of activities of the task force, said that part of their mandate is to curb illegal activities in the oil and gas sector.

He assured that the task force would collaborate with the state government as well as other security agencies in the area of information sharing, adding that they were determined to curb illicit activities within their areas of operation.

The Eastern Updates

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