A pressure group, Concerned Citizens of Bony, Nembe, Kula and Bille Communities,has raised the alarm of increasing incidence of oil bunkering even as it urged government to intensify action in halting the crime. The group accused the personnel of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the areas of engaging in ‘illegal oil bunkering’ and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to apprehend them.
“Government should arrest those committing the crime and put a stop to their criminal activities in the Niger Delta region.”
In a statement issued yesterday, signed by the duo of Ebi George and Comrade Preye Dumbraye, the four communities located in Bayelsa and Rivers States pointed out that they were forced to cry out “again after the publication of May 15, 2018 in the media.” They alleged that the illegal activities of some JTF members have increased rather than reduce since the publication.“Since that publication, the activities of oil bunkering have increased ten-fold in our communities. Oil bunkering vessels come in every two days to load oil from Bony, Nember, Kula, and Bille under military escorts who pilot the in and out of our communities,” the statement said.
While commending the efforts of the armed forces in maintaining security in the region, the statement, however, expressed worry that some of the security agents had taken up criminal activities.“We commend the efforts of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) and Commanding Officer 29 Battalion Port Harcourt for his efforts to combat oil bunkering activities. But the bad eggs in the Army and the Navy are actively involved in oil bunkering in Bony, Nembe, Kula, and Bille communities in Rivers and Bayelsa states.”
The communities added that attention should be paid to Bony and Nembe as pipeline vandals and oil bunkerers seemed to have taken over the areas.
“We call on the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff to direct their field officers and commanders to stop their men from collaborating with oil bunkerers and pipeline vandals in Bony and Nembe axis and Kula and Bille both in Rivers and Bayelsa who operate in broad daylight under the escort of Army and Navy personnel from Port Harcourt to Bayelsa. “The brazen manner in which vessels come in and out of Bonny and Nembe is very alarming. Kula and Bille are not left out. The ongoing battle by the GOC and Commanding Officer of 29 Battalion in Kula and Bille to combat pipeline vandals and oil bunkerers should be extended to Bony and Nembe.”
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