Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed the Rivers State Commissioner of Police to work with other security agencies, council chairmen, and traditional rulers to identify and prosecute anyone involved in unlawful bunkering or artisanal refiners.
The governor blamed unlawful bunkering and artisanal refining for the black soot pollution that is jeopardising citizens’ health.
On Friday, he delivered the keynote address at the Nigeria Police, Rivers State Command dinner and award night, which took place at the Police Officers Mess, Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
The governor, who was represented by Chief Emeka Woke, Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, said that the state government has vowed to put an end to those engaging in crude oil theft and refining for good.
Governor Wike declared that the state government is willing to offer all necessary resources to the police and other security agencies in order to uproot and eliminate artisanal refiners activities in the State.
“The State is prepared to fight them more than ever before,” says the governor.
Governor Wike stated that Rivers State has seen peace and improved policing since Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, took office last year.
“Little wonder the crime index in the state has reduced drastically. We thought we are the only people witnessing it, but with the award you got from the wife of the Inspector General of Police, it is an eloquent testimony that what we are seeing as a State, is also being observed from all the nation.”
The governor said that police in Rivers State has improved dramatically as a result of the Nigeria Police Force’s administration at both the Force Headquarters and the State Command separating themselves from politics.
“As a state, we will continue to support the security agencies in the State. Our support for security agencies is not only centered on Police force. We are also extending similar gesture to the Navy, Air force and others,” he said.
“For us, we believe the primary function of any responsible government is to protect life and property. So, we have no option than to continue to support in providing logistics and everything that can make the security agencies in the State to function very well. Because we believe that if our people are safe and the life here is peaceful, there will be increase in economics activities and the Internally Generated Revenue will also go up.”
Governor Wike praised Mr Eboka, Rivers State’s 42nd Commissioner of Police, for carrying out his duties properly and for not following in the footsteps of some of his predecessors who were sent to the state to foment chaos and instability.
The governor announced a one-million-naira payment for each of the Rivers State Police Command award recipients, as well as a ten-million-naira reward for the command for organising the event.
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