The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas to expose all illegal refineries and their operators within their jurisdiction or resign.
Wike revealed that the Divisional Police Officer in the Emohua Local Government Area operated an illegal refinery in the area until he was transferred by the Force.
The governor gave the chairmen the ultimatum on Friday during a meeting with the council chairmen and heads of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police, the Directorate of State Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps at the Government House.
Wike challenged the council chairmen to prove they were not complicit in the corrupt ventures that had persistently threatened the health of Rivers people and the national economy.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, confirmed the governor’s meeting in a statement released to journalists in Port Harcourt.
The governor said, “Now, every council chairman must go and identify where illegal refineries are taking place. If you identify one, you get N2million. So, go and identify as many as you can.
“I will pay N2million for each one. And I am going to fight against this. Our people are dying and we owe our people the responsibility to protect them, to save them from death they never caused.
“So, you must, and you’re given 48 hours to go and identify all illegal refineries sites, and those who are in charge of them.”
The governor emphasised that any of the council chairmen who was afraid to join in the fight against the criminals operating the illegal refineries should be ready to resign.
The governor urged the State Police Commissioner, Eboka Friday, to redeploy out of the state a particular DPO in Emohua Local Government Area operating an illegal refinery in the area.
“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 transferred. He must leave this state.
“I can’t be governor here and security man owns an illegal refinery. No, it is not possible…the man has to go. Take him to wherever they allow bunkering,” Wike stated.
The governor further urged Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State command, to immediately transfer its personnel in charge of vandalisation of pipelines in the state.