Illegal Refinery: Rivers Gets New NSCDC Commandant, Anti-Vandal Unit Head

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The authorities of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have appointed a new commandant for the Rivers State Command of the agency.

This action was taken after the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Mr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, received a report of an investigative committee set up to look into the allegations by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, that some personnel were into aiding suspected illegal dealers in petroleum products in the state.

A statement issued on Monday, January 31, 2022, by the Director of Public Relations of the agency, Olusola Odumosu, stated that Mr Audi felt it was necessary to rejig the command for efficiency.

As a result, the NSCDC Commandant for Rivers State was replaced with a new Commandant from the North West, while the former head of the anti-vandal unit from the North Central was replaced with a new head from South East.

“I have charged the new commandant and the newly reconstituted anti-vandal unit to launch a total war against petroleum pipeline vandals, illegal oil bunkerers and all economic saboteurs by dislodging vandals, arresting oil thieves and dismantling all illegal refineries and roadblocks.

“Any attempt to delay immediate prosecution of arrested suspects is tantamount to compromise and any personnel caught collecting settlement or tampering with impounded tankers, petroleum products and other exhibits would be sanctioned and dealt with decisively according to the Standard Operating Procedures and Code of Ethics of the Corps,” the NSCDC boss was quoted as saying.

He affirmed his commitment to sanitising and the Rivers State Command of the corps for effective service delivery and optimal performance.

Mr Audi assured that the NSCDC under his watch will not condone any act of recklessness, indiscipline, negligence or compromise by any operatives as this is not only counter-productive but at variance with his principles and the corporate existence of the organisation.

The CG decried the action of some bad eggs within the agency in various formations and gave a stern warning to all heads of the anti-vandal unit to refrain from any form of compromise, charging them to be more committed, purposeful and patriotic in fulfilling the mandates of the corps without prejudice.

“Henceforth, a telescopic monitoring would be launched on the activities of the anti-vandal squads in all formations and anyone not living up to expectation would be shown the way out immediately. You must wake up from your slumber to arrest and prosecute vandals and criminals,” he stated.

He stressed that NSCDC as the lead agency in safeguarding all Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in Nigeria was poised to putting in place a robust response and coordination system to guarantee the safety and formidability of the country as Africa’s largest economy and leading oil exporter with the largest natural gas reserves.

It was gathered that the panel constituted by Mr Audi and led by the Acting DCG operations, Mr Mohammed Lawal Haruna, performed an on-the-spot assessment of different locations in Rivers State including the NSCDC jetty and the exhibit yard where all impounded oil tankers, drums of illegally refined products, barges and boats were kept while awaiting court judgement.

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