BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, FRCN PORT HARCOURT
The Commanding (GOCs), 6 and 82 Divisions, Nigerian Army (NA), Major General Jamal Abdussalam and Major General Hassan Dada, have jointly paid an operational visit to the illegal oil bunkering sites located at Okoloma, Oyigbo Local Government Area (LGA) and Umuahale area in Ukwa West LGA in Rivers and Abia States.
The locations are at the fringes of Imo River, where the two Divisions are jointly conducting clearance operations from Rivers and Abia States.
The visit which was aimed at on the spot assessment of the illegality perpetrated by criminals and economic saboteurs as well as boost troops morale for a job welldone, was a follow up to the earlier raid on one of the camps last week by troops of 6 Division.
According to a statement from Acting Deputy Director, 6 Division, Army Public Relations, Lieutenant Colonel Danjuma Jonah, While at the fringes of the Imo River, deep into the thickly forested areas, the GOCs were conducted through a tour by the Commander, 6 Division Garrsion, Brigadier General Edet Effiong and Commander 14 Brigade, Brigadier General Olusola Diya, where they saw the hub of illegal oil bunkering, shrouded with cooking pots, boilers, surface reservoirs and huge quantities of illegal products in dug-in reservoirs carefully concealed, under the thick forest with interconnected pipes spanning several kilometers.
The statement revealed that the crime scene was a pointer to the fact that it is an organized crime that has been running for a long period, owing to the huge investment made to sabotage the national economy.
The GOCs who jointly addressed the troops charged them to ensure that all illegal bunkering sites were destroyed.
They also re-echoed the President and Commander-in-Chief’s directive on zero tolerance for illegal oil bunkering, charging troops to sustain the operational tempo against oil theft.
As contained in the statement, the GOCs expressed displeasure over the level of criminality involved in illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism, adding that it would have serious adverse effects on the economy if allowed to continue.
The GOCs who vowed to increase the tempo of the fight against oil theft, charged officers and men as well as civilian populace to join hands in fishing out every illegal bunkering site and their operators for destruction and prosecution.