The governor who spoke during a courtesy visit by the Joint Task Force on Protection of Oil & Gas Pipelines led by the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin at the Government House said: “We are very worried about the scale, not only of oil theft but the seeming ease with which pipelines are vandalised by all kinds of criminals leading to huge losses.
“What they steal is nothing compared to the net losses arising from those activities. Many communities and many villages have been ruined, including my village. I am told that a lot of the vessels that are seized in the course of tracking these characters whether at sea or around the riverine areas or in the creek, they try to preserve the exhibit for legal purposes. In the cause of these, one thing leads to another. Either they are able to manipulate the system and you have interventions from some quarters and you are asked to let the people go or that they succeed in turning round to again recover what is taken from them.
“My argument then and it still my argument today that rather than put a man in prison for 10 years, I will rather sink his ship that is worth millions of dollars because at the end of the day, the judicial process can be quite difficult in dealing with this kind of criminals especially when huge sums of money is involved. So the exhibit should be completely destroyed as soon as it is taken before they start manipulating their way and trying to find a way to get round the system”, he said.
Earlier, the Commandant, NSCDC, Mr. Ade Abolurin, said the federal government set up a committee on oil theft for the protection of national infrastructures, including gas.
– Daily Trust