Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Nigerian Army of running illegal bunkering in Rivers State.
The governor accused Jamil Sarham, the general officer commanding the Army’s 6 Division in Port Harcourt, of raising a team of soldiers to steal and sell petroleum products in the region.
“The GOC has his own team now doing oil bunkering for him because he wants to be chief of army staff,” Wike said while receiving a team of military personnel from ‘Operation Delta Safe’ on Wednesday. “If you give that kind of person chief of army staff, what kind of security would we have in this country?”
“He cannot be removed here because they know the role he is playing for them: sabotaging our security architecture,” the governor added.
Mr Wike said Mr Sarham, a major-general, regularly divulges confidential security briefings to criminals, and the military leadership’s reluctance in removing him was deliberate.
“We would have security meeting, he will release it to criminals,” Mr Wike said. “And chief of army staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.”
Mr Wike said he has been leading security efforts to “reduce crime to the barest minimum,” in Rivers, which ranks amongst Nigeria’s most volatile states. But the army constitutes an obstacle for success, he alleged.
The ‘Operation Delta Safe’ is a joint-security patrol of the Niger Delta region, where cases of oil theft and disruption of oil installations are regularly reported. The courtesy visit to Mr Wike was led by Akinjide Akinrinade, a naval rear admiral and overall head of the operation.
Mr Wike said it would be difficult for ‘Operation Delta Safe’ to arrest military personnel sent on oil bunkering mission if they encountered one another in the creeks.
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