The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said it was time the Nigeria treat crude oil thieves as treasonable offenders for the damage being done to the economic mainstay of the country.
He added that the fight to stop oil theft had continued to fail because top ranking members of the country’s security agencies were involved in it.
Wike spoke when he hosted the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Amao, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, disclosed this in a statement.
The statement reads partly, “You know this bunkering cannot stop because everybody is involved. The military is involved, the police are involved, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps is involved. If not, there is no way illegal bunkering can continue.
“I don’t know, whether we should take the issue of bunkering to be more serious than treason. If you go around and see what has happened to our environment, you’ll have pity on us.”
Wike also urged members of the military task force deployed to arrest the illegal oil bunkers to find an environmentally friendly way to destroy bunkering sites.
He said when they blow-up the sites, they increase soot in the atmosphere which had become another environmental concern in Rivers State.
Wike commended the military for the success in the war against insurgency, adding that the armed forces had reduced the level of carnage that Boko Haram and bandits had caused in parts of the country.
Wike pointed out that the prevailing peace in Rivers State was achieved because of the existing cooperation between all the heads of security with the state government.
In his speech, Amao said he was on operational visit to 115 Special Operation Group in Rivers State and decided to visit the governor, who he said had contributed immensely to the functioning of NAF base in Port Harcourt.
He added, “We commend you for being able to contain the security situation in the state. Rivers State has been a very peaceful state.”