Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has charged the Rivers State Commissioner of Police to collaborate with the other Security Agencies, Council Chairmen, and Traditional Rulers to fish out all those involved in illegal bunkering and artisanal refining for prosecution.
The governor accused persons engaged in illegal bunkering and artisanal refining for the black soot environmental menace that is endangering the health of residents of the State.
He gave the charge at the Nigeria Police, Rivers State Command dinner, and award night that held at the Police Officers Mess, Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, declared that the State government has resolved to tackle those involved in crude oil theft and refining once and for all.
Governor Wike stated that the state government is willing to provide the police and other security agencies all that is required to dislodge and end the activities of artisanal refiners in Rivers State.
According to the governor, “the State is prepared to fight them more than ever before.”
Governor Wike narrated that since the Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka assumed duty last year, Rivers State has witnessed peace and improved policing.
“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 police in Rivers State have improved remarkably because the management of the Nigeria Police Force at the Force Headquarters and the State Command respectively distanced 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 the Police force. We are also extending similar gestures to the Navy, Air force, and others.
“For us, we believe the primary function of any responsible government is to protect life and property. So, we have no option but to continue to support in providing logistics and everything that can make the security agencies in the State function very well.
“Because we believe that if our people are safe and the life here is peaceful, there will be an increase in economic activities and the Internally Generated Revenue will also go up.”
Governor Wike commended CP Eboka, who is the 42nd Commissioner of Police in Rivers State for discharging his duty professionally and not joining the league of some of his predecessors, who were posted to the State to cause turmoil and instability.
The governor announced an N1 million reward for each of the recipients of the Rivers State Police Command award and N10 Million to the Command for organizing the event.
The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka explained that 2021 was a remarkable year for the Command because Rivers State emerged as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.
He thanked Almighty God for his grace and Inspector General of Police for choosing Rivers State as the venue for the launching of South-South Operation Restore Peace.
According to him, this came with the deployment of special forces with sophisticated equipment as well as combat helicopter to the state.
He commended Governor Wike for being very phenomenal in the attainment of peace and security in the State.
“Since I assumed office, the command has received more than 50 patrol vehicles fitted with modern gadgets from the State government. This gesture alone enhanced visibility policing in the State.