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Gov. Wike Declares 19 Illegal Oil Refiners Wanted; Threatens to Depose Rulers

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared 19 persons wanted for operating illegal crude oil refineries in the state. He blamed the illegal oil activities for the oil soot damaging rivers and farm-lands in Rivers State. He equally directed that Temple Amakiri, a director in the Ministry of Energy, be handed over to the police for allegedly abetting oil bunkering activities.

The governor listed the names of the 19 illegal oil refiners and warned them to report themselves to the police command. Below is his statement to this effect:

“They are Mr Azubike Amadi, OSPAC Commander, Ogbogoro community and Chairman of Akpor Central OSPAC; Mr India, of Rumuolumeni community and Chairman of Oil Bunkering Association in Akpor kingdom; Mr. Okey who is in charge of oil bunkering in Rumupareli; Mr Anderson, who is in charge of oil bunkering activities in Ogbogoro community; Amadi Gift of Ogbogoro community; Azeruowa of Ogbogoro community; and Kingsley Egbula, also of Ogbogoro community.

“Also declared wanted are the following persons who are alleged to be in charge of oil bunkering activities in Isiokpo community: Mr Kemkom Azubike, Mr Mezu Wabali, Mr Chigozi Amadi, Mr Opurum Owhondah, Mr Bakasi Obodo, Mr Opus, Mr Galaxi Mas, Mr Chioma, Mr Ogondah, Mr Soldier, Mr Chefo, and Nkasi.”

The governor equally said that illegal bunkering activities have been observed in Okrika communities, Port Harcourt township, Rivers South-East, and Rivers South-West senatorial districts. He warned the perpetrators to report to the police or risk having their names released to the public.

In a similar crackdown, Wike reiterated his ban on commercial motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt local government areas due to the threats their activities pose to residents and business activities. He warned that any individual or corporate entity who requires the use of commercial cyclists should obtain necessary approval and documentation from the office of the governor.

In the same vein, Wike cautioned all foreign exchange peddlers and street traders to vacate Birabi street, Hotel Presidential, GRA junction beside Zenith Bank up to Tombia street or risk arrest and prosecution. The governor accused traditional rulers of collecting bribes from traders to allow illegal trading in their domains.

“Consequently, I hereby direct the traditional leadership of Rumuola, Rumuogba and Okoro-nu-odo communities to immediately stop all street trading activities around, in or under the flyovers in their respective domains or be deposed, arrested and prosecuted.

“Similarly, the traditional leadership of Rumuwoji Mgbuduku, Obiekwe, Nkpolu-Oroworokwo, Abali, Rebisi, Rumuokurushe, Rumukalagbor-Oroworokwo and Ezimgbu communities are hereby directed to enforce the ban and ensure that no form of trading takes place around and under the flyovers located in their communities,” he warned.