Rivers governor Siminalayi Fubara, on Friday said some personnel of the Nigerian Army are frustrating efforts of his administration to stop oil theft in the state because they are neck deep in the illegal business.
Governor Fubara said this when he received the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, General, Taoreed Lagbaja, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Fubara also accused army personnel of plotting with an oil company to frustrate the ongoing road construction in Ogba/Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area by attacking the contractor to cover up illegal oil bunkering activities.
He called for greater synergy and cooperation between the State Government and the Nigerian Army.
He noted that while his administration is doing everything possible to curb illegal bunkering activities, some officers of the Nigerian Army are possibly compromised in parts of Ahoada East and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Areas of the State.
Governor Fubara said all efforts to resolve the issue of frequent attacks on the troops on that particular contract by some compromise army personnel have been frustrated because of their vested interest in illegal business.
According to Fubara: “One special problem that we have here is the issue of illegal oil bunkering. In some parts of the State, in Ahoada East and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, most of the bunkering activities, we believe, are subsisting because there is this cooperation between the Army and top oil companies.
“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 should allow them to go ahead with the job, the military will always come and attack our contractor.”
Governor Fubara explained how he had tried to resolve the problem without success because of the alleged vested interest that the officers have, and urged 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 how things should be done for the State. 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, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja said he was in Port Harcourt as part of the visit to formations and units under his command following his assumption of office.
He thanked Governor Fubara 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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