In view of the incessant oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta and their concomitant harmful effects on the region’s environment, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has appealed to the affected communities to expose the culprits and save their environment.
In a statement, the NOA Director General, Garba Abari noted that the illegal and primitive approach to the harvest of oil resources in the region exposes local communities to harsh environmental, health and socio-economic impact; hence the communities cannot afford to participate or endorse such criminal activities. He said many of the illegal refinery sites were in proximity of existing crude oil pipeline networks in the region, thus seriously breaching their safety with increased potential for further damage of the environment.
The Director General also appealed to community leaders in the Niger Delta to support Government’s efforts by mobilizing the local population for community policing of their environment and oil installations situated therein, disclosing that NOA would soon commence a dedicated social re-orientation programme in the region to help turn around its fortunes.
Abari, further observed that the emergence of newly polluted areas in the Niger Delta, owing to the activities of illegal oil operators, puts the objective of the Federal Government’s clean up initiative in the region at risk. The NOA boss condemned the “damaging resolve” of criminal gangs to sustain the perpetration of their illicit acts in the region and thereby continuing to hurt the good people of the Niger Delta. He however stated Government’s unflinching resolve to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.