Rivers Won’t Tolerate Economic Sabotage—Wike

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Rivers State Government has disclosed that it will not allow any act of economic sabotage such as crude oil theft to continue taking place in the state.

This warning was given by the state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, who noted that the war against illegal refining of crude oil is not about political parties but about Nigeria and its survival.

He stated that it is also about ensuring that the health of Rivers people is not endangered.

Speaking during a security meeting he had with heads of security agencies in the state and five Local Government Chairman at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Mr Wike said, “The mere fact that I am in opposition does not mean that I have to sabotage the economy of the nation. This country belongs to all of us and you know that oil is the major source of revenue for the federation that the three tiers of government share from.

“So, you cannot, because you’re of the opposition, close your eyes and allow that to happen. No responsible government does that. This is not about the party. It is about Nigeria. It is about making sure this country survives and then also the health factor.

“We must continue to take this war very seriously. Not only because it is sabotage to the national economy but also for the health of our people, which, for me, is the key why we must fight against this sabotage.”

Mr Wike commended the security agencies and some chairmen of councils who have shown seriousness in the fight against operators of illegal crude oil refineries in the state.

He, however, urged them not to rest on their oars because the fight is far from over, especially with such commitment to save Rivers people and all residents of the likely ailment soot causes.

“So, let’s take this as a war that we must save our people. And we must save our nation. I commend you so far, for your efforts. But we must redouble our efforts and not to give any chances to these armed robbers that they called bunkers.

“As far as I am concerned, they’re even worse than armed robbers. One who sabotages the national economy is worse than an armed robber,” he said.

Governor Wike explained that the list bearing the names of those selected to be part of the task force against illegal refining activities has been sent to the Department of State Services for profiling.

According to him, the prospective members are drawn from council areas where their chairmen have shown commitment to the fight.

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