The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has approved the manhunt for 19 persons over alleged involvement in the operation of local crude oil refining in the state.
Wike gave the directive in a state-wide broadcast on Sunday.
He also revealed the steps being undertaken by the government to redress the soot epidemic in the state.
The governor directed the state’s Head of Service to investigate a Director in the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Temple Amakiri, for allegedly aiding the wanted persons.
The Nigerian Police Force is also expected to partake in the investigations.
Wike said: “Furthermore, the following persons who have been identified as kingpins of bunkering and illegal crude oil refining activities in their communities have been declared wanted and directed to report themselves to the State Police Command, to whom we have already passed their details to:
“Mr. Azubike Amadi, OSPAC Commander, Ogbogoro community and Chairman of Akpor Central OSPAC;
“Mr. India, of Rumuolumeni community and Chairman of Oil Bunkering Association in Akpor kingdom;
“Mr. Okey, who is in charge of Oil bunkering in Rumupareli;
“Mr. Anderson, who is in charge of oil bunkering activities in Ogbogoro community; Amadi Gift of Ogbogoro community; Azeruowa of Ogbogoro community;
“And Kingsley Egbula, also of Ogbogoro community.
“Also declared wanted are Mr. Kemkom Azubike, Mr. Mezu Wabali, Mr. Chigozi Amadi, Mr. Opurum Owhondah, Mr. Bakasi Obodo, Mr. Opus, Mr. Galaxi Mas, Mr. Chioma, Mr. Ogondah, Mr. Soldier, Mr. Chefo, and Nkasi. They are alleged to be in charge of oil bunkering activities in Isiokpo community.
“We have also identified those behind illegal bunkering activities in Okrika communities, Port Harcourt Township, Rivers South-East, and Rivers South-West Senatorial Districts, and their names would be soon published and declared wanted if they fail to voluntarily report to the police.”
The governor also appealed to residents to aid the government by reporting suspected persons involved in illegal oil refining and bunkering to the Task Forces established by the government to tackle the problem.
He also confirmed the ban on motorcycles without any permit from the authorities.
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