09 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised the Federal Government to “tap into the potentials of those engaged in illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region” in a bid to make them useful to the nation.
Governor Wike gave the advice in his address at the 25th anniversary of Ogoni Day celebration in Bori, Rivers State.
The governor, represented by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the Rivers South East senatorial election, Sen. Olaka Nwogu, said the government could make better use of those involved in illegal oil bunkering by establishing them and making them more useful.
Nwogu said the governor was concerned about the spate of insecurity in Ogoni area and promised to ensure that peace returned to the area, especially with the planned commencement of the Ogoni cleanup.
He stated: “While the cleanup is on, it is important that our environments are not re-polluted through illegal bunkering. However, there is illegal bunkering and there is legal bunkering. There is no reason why our people should not have an opportunity to do bunkering.
“If, without technology our people can turn crude oil into petrol and kerosene, then there is no doubt that with some regulation, education and support, our people can be brought into the oil industry so that what they do will no longer be illegal but regulated, controlled, and it will, therefore, be legal”.
He added: “The participation of our people in the oil and gas sector, which is a product of their God-given right, as a result of their natural wealth, should be non-negotiable.”
Earlier, the president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, in his speech, called on Ogoni youths to desist from further degrading of the environment through illegal oil bunkering.