• Troops clampdown on illegal bunkering sites
In a relentless effort to curb illegal activities in the Niger Delta Region (NDR), Major General Jamal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, and Land Component Commander of Joint Task Force, South South, Operation DELTA SAFE, has issued a stern warning to vandals and economic saboteurs involved in illegal oil bunkering.
According to Acting Deputy Director 6 Division Army Public Relations Lieut. Col. Danjuma Jonah Danjuma, the GOC emphasized the need for individuals to pursue legitimate means of livelihood instead.
This cautionary statement comes in the wake of an intensified crackdown on criminal activities within the waterways, creeks, and rivulets of the Niger Delta Region.
Major General Abdussalam personally led an operation against vandals and economic saboteurs, resulting in the raid of several illegal oil bunkering sites in Obama and Uzoma, located in Kom-Kom Community at Oyingbo Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State, on January 31, 2024.
During the operation, the GOC highlighted the commitment of troops under the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, to restrict the freedom of action for criminals in the region. Substantial evidence of organized large-scale criminality was uncovered during the raid, including over 15 boilers, 9 reservoirs, extensive interconnected pipes, and other paraphernalia used in the illegal activities. The seized crude oil amounted to over 5 million liters, and numerous large Cotonou Boats, capable of transporting more than 200,000 liters of crude oil, were intercepted en route to the location.
Major General Abdussalam urged those involved in these criminal acts to abandon illegal oil bunkering, emphasizing its illegality and the environmental degradation it causes. He implored them to embrace legitimate business ventures, stating that the facilities used in these illegal operations required significant financial investment, expertise, and careful planning.
Addressing the press, the GOC emphasized that the ongoing crackdown was not solely aimed at those apprehended but extended to identifying and holding accountable those responsible for orchestrating such illegal activities. He reiterated the criminal nature of the enterprise and urged individuals to contribute to the region’s development by engaging in lawful businesses.
This operation against economic vandals aligns with the commitment of the Land Component of Operation DELTA SAFE to dismantle illegal economic hubs and target their associated merchants in the Niger Delta Region. The recent operation follows closely on the heels of the destruction of large-scale illegal bunkering sites at Odogwa in Etche LGA, underscoring the military’s unwavering commitment to maintaining law and order in the region.