Group Applauds Nigeria Army Operations on curbing Crude Oil Theft
By Zeniat Abubakar Abuja
The Niger-Delta Safe Environment Group, NDSEG, has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for its increased operations aimed at curbing crude oil/products theft in the region.
They said long years of illegal bunkering has caused severe damages to the environment and health of the people in the region.
The Group in a statement signed by the President, Ombo Princewill and Secretary, Felicia Akpabio, said that the onslaughts by Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE (ODS) in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP and other operations in the South South zone have weakened the activities of the criminals.
It noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria under the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has intensified operations aimed at protecting the environment and saving the country huge resources.
According to the Group, “Just last week, the Defence Headquarters announced that it discovered and destroyed 74 illegal refineries and arrested a total of 71 criminals terrorizing the zone.”
“In addition, the troops have also recovered 209,000 litres of crude oil, 145,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 27 variety of weapons, 468 assorted ammunition, 2 speed boats, 2 outboard engine, 8 vehicles and 4 motorcycles.” The Group said.
“We commend the AFN for Operations conducted at the creeks, waterways, high sea, towns and cities of Bayelsa, Delta, River State, Cross River and Akwa Ibom state respectively, which yielded appreciable results”.
“For long misguided elements in our region have put our health at risk in their quest for illegal wealth. Women with pregnancy are affected, their are incidences of lung cancer etc. Not to be mentioned is the manner our sources of livelihood, fishing and farming have been greatly affected.”
The Niger-Delta Safe Environment Group, lamented that several residents of the region are unknowingly carrying illnesses following massive environmental degradation, a fallout of activities of the oil thieves.
The Group however, urged the people of the region to cooperate with the Armed Forces of Nigeria curb in the region of those causing environmental health hazards and the country’s economy.