23 January 2012, Sweetcrude, UMUAHIA—ABIA State government has expressed concern over high level of oil bunkering in various parts of Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state.
The government also expressed fears that rich and powerful bunkering cabal might deploy their ill-gotten wealth to acquire arms and become a security threat to the state and nation at large.
Oil bunkering have increased in recent past, with the bunkerers said to be making stupendous money from the illegal activities. The state government was also worried that activities of these bunkerers would jeopardise both the state’s and nation’s economy if they were not immediately checked.
Based on this fear and in an attempt to protect the nation’s economy, Governor Theodore Orji has written to the Federal Government through the Chief of Army Staff, requesting that soldiers be deployed in the area to checkmate activities of the bunkerers and protect the wealth of the nation.
In a swift response, the Commander of the 14 Brigade, Major General Sylvester Audu, deployed soldiers from the Brigade to protect the area and checkmate activities of the oil bunkers.
Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Enugu, Major General Sunday Idoko, will lead some top army officers to visit Ukwa West bunkering sites today to assess the situation of things and take any other protective measure.
Assistant Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, confirmed the deployment of soldiers to the area in a statement.
“Following reported cases of illegal oil bunkering in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, the General Officer, Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Sunday Idoko, will visit the sites, with a view to assessing the situation and deploying troops in order to checkmate and nip in the bud the criminal activities in the area.
“Troops of 14 Brigade have since been deployed in the affected areas. The GOC will be accompanied by the Commander, 14 Brigade, Major General Sylvester Andrew Audu, and the Commanders 82 Division Intelligence and Provost groups,” the statement added.