Intensify Efforts Against Perpetrators Of Oil Theft, Illegal Refineries, Gov Otti To Joint Task Force Team


Abia State Governor Dr. Alex Otti has urged the Joint Task Force South South Operation Delta Safe to intensify efforts in the fight against oil theft and illegal operation of refineries in the state.



Governor Otti stated this, Friday, when he received a delegation of the Officers of the Joint Task Force Team whose mandate is to secure oil and gas operations in 10 states of the South South, South West and South East including Àbia.


The Governor who condemned activities of illegal refineries in the state, urged them to treat operators of illegal refineries as enemies of the state, warning that they will face legal repercussions.



“Those that operate illegal refineries and other activities, those are the enemies of the state and should be treated as such.


“Be they in Aba or in Ukwa or Port Harcourt or Bayelsa or any of the other 10 states where you operate. The long arms of the government must be made to catch up with them. 




“For us, we do not support any illegality by anybody in any form. You can take it for granted that we as a government will give you all the support to carry out your operation here“, Gov Otti assured.


He also implored the force to also work to secure the Àbia Innovation and Industrial Park (AIIP) at Owaza in Ukwa West and assured them of the support of the state government in terms of logistics and intelligence sharing to make their assignment easier.



Otti while describing security as a top priority to his government, emphasized that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity.


He pointed out that Àbia state has enjoyed relative peace until the incident at Obikabia Junction where five soldiers of the Nigerian army were brutally assassinated by criminals adding that government is working round the clock to unravel the perpetrators as well as bring them to book.

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Earlier, the Commander, Joint Task Force South South Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral John Okeke said he is in Abia to familiarize with the state as one of their areas of operations in the fight against oil theft and illegal activities within the oil bearing states.

Rear Admiral Okeke who used the opportunity to acquint the Governor with activities of the task Force, said that part of their mandate is to curb illegal activities in the oil and gas sector.



The Federal Government thought it wise to come up with Joint Taskforce South South Operation Delta Safe with a mandate to protect oil and gas infrastructure and stop militancy, sea robbery, crude oil theft and other forms of militancy that could impact negatively on the economic activities, with emphasis on the oil and gas sector”.


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Rear Admiral Okeke assured that they would collaborate with the state government as well as other security agencies in the area of information sharing adding that they are determined to curb illicit activities within their areas of operation.


He solicited for the support of the state government in terms of logistics to enable them achieve their mandate.