‘Military officers sabotaging fight against oil theft’ – Rivers governor tells Army Chief

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Rivers governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has alleged that some army officers were sabotaging efforts towards tackling the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the state.

Fubara disclosed this when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, on a courtesy visit at the Government House on Friday.

According to Fubara, the suspected officers were attached to a particular company in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Council of the state.

Fubara said his administration was doing everything possible to curb illegal bunkering activities, but alleged that some officers of the Nigerian Army had been compromised in parts of Ahoada East and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni local councils.

“One special problem that we have here is the issue of bunkering. In some parts of the state, in Ahoada East and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, most of the bunkering activities there, we believe, are subsisting because there is this cooperation between the Army and top oil companies,” Fubara said.

“I’m saying this because there is this road we are constructing somewhere in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni and each time the contractor approaches this particular company and pleads that they allow them to go ahead with the job, the military will always come and attack our contractors,” he added.

Fubara explained how he had tried to resolve the problem without success because of the “vested interest” of the officers, urging the Chief of Army Staff to call them to order.

“Carrying out some assignments with any company does not give any person powers to decide for the state how things should be done. Look into the matter,” the governor added. He commended the army and other security agencies in their efforts to maintain peace and security across the state.

In his speech, Lagbaja said he was in Port Harcourt as part of his visit to formations and units under his command following his assumption of office.

He appreciated the governor for the continuous support, intervention and cooperation with the army to perform its operations that have fostered peace and stability in the state.

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