Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has charged traditional rulers in the state to prevent illegal oil bunkering and artisanal refinery activities in their domains.
Wike gave the charge when he presented Staff of Office and Certificates of Recognition to Chief Chidi Awuse, the Nne-Nwe-Eli Emohua XIII (OLO IV), Ohna, and Chief Ozuowuowu Amos, the Nye Nwe Ali Akpor, Orlu Orieb,e as first-class chiefs on Monday in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who reiterated his resolve to sustain the war against illegal oil bunkering and artisanal refining activities, urged the King of Akpor in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and the King of Omerelu in Ikwerre council not to allow such activities to thrive anymore in their respective domains.
Wike said the state government will not hesitate to depose the King of Akpor Kingdom if illegal oil bunkering in Rumuokparali and Ogbogoro communities persisted.
He also frowned at the king of Omerelu community in Ikwerre Local Government Area where illegal oil bunkering activities are thriving.
“Aside from the soot problem and economic sabotage associated with the criminal activities, the internal roads being reconstructed by my administration in Omerelu had been damaged.
“We are doing internal roads in Omerelu. This is a community that has been crying for roads and we have given them not less than 11/12 kilometers of internal roads.
“And now they are spoiling them because of the conveying of the products. We can’t continue to accept that.
“I can’t understand why you just want to collect the chieftaincy title and do nothing,” the governor said.
Wike told the two kings to come to terms with the responsibilities associated with their new statuses and discharge them effectively.
He also enjoined them to ensure that peace prevailed in their domains by attending to all shades of conflicts so that they do not snowball into crises.
Besides, he charged them to steer clear from partisan politics, but “be willing always to work in synergy with the government, in order to promote governance at the grassroots”.
Wike explained that the demolition of shanties in the state would continue, “because hoodlums use such places as hideouts to perpetuate their criminal activities including those found in the government residential areas in the state”.