Disaster looms in Jesse over illegal oil bunkering, crude refineries

Emma Amaize

28 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Warri —
The traditional ruler of Jesse Kingdom has raised alarm over the threat posed to the community by oil spills caused by illegal oil bunkering and crude refineries in Jesse and other oil producing communities in Delta State.

Following reports that farmlands had been polluted along River Ethiope, the traditional ruler, HRM, Erhiekevwe I, Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, alerted the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Jesse Police Station, Jesse and the Joint Task Force, JTF/Oil Pipeline Surveillance Unit, whose officials and along with men from the palace went on inspection of coastal communities.

A statement by the Iyasere of Jesse kingdom, Chief Uzzi Gabriel-Emeje, said the findings showed that pollution observed in Jesse could have flowed from vandalised oil pipelines in neighbouring communities.

He directed chiefs, village heads, youth bodies/vigilante outfits in his kingdom to be more vigilant and promptly report perpetrators of any criminal act to the security agencies.

The monarch said security of government property and interest anywhere was the responsibility of everybody, while security agencies, particularly those concerned with oil pipelines surveillance, should be more proactive in monitoring pipelines and other related crimes in the country.

He said that crude oil refining was alien to the people of Jesse and anyone caught in the business in its territory would be handed over to security agencies.

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