We’ll Eradicate Illegal Bunkering -JTF

Effects Affecting Aquatic Life In Jesse



DETERMINED to rid the Niger Delta region of illegal bunkering activities, the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, has destroyed several illegal refineries in Onyobru Town in Jesse, Ethiope West Local Government Council of Delta State.

The troops, led by Lt Col, Abubakar Wase, Commander Four Brigade Garrison, Sector One, Benin, had earlier burnt a tanker ostensibly used for loading the product in Aghalokpe, Sapele, stating that the task force would not relent in its renewed effort to bring to an end the ugly trend of illegal bunkering.

Our correspondent reports that several drums, tanks and pipelines used in connecting the crude oil to areas where it is refined in Onyobru town, were razed down along side the illegal refineries by the soldiers.

The crude line which supplies products from the Warri refinery to the Kaduna refinery had been under attack from pipelines vandals, a situation that had caused several disruptions to the line.

It would be recalled that over one thousand persons died in Jesse community about 10  years ago when a petroleum pipeline from which the product was being siphoned caught fire. But the sad incident had not deterred some members of the community who had found the lucrative business too attractive to abandon.

Lt. Col. Wase, who led the operation, told our correspondent that the army got information from some women in the town who were uncomfortable with the action of the youths.

Our correspondent observed that the entire Jesse River had been covered with crude oil, causing severe damage to aquatic life in the community.

The army said they would continue to destroy illegal refineries and tackle the perpetrators until total elimination of the menace was achieved.

According to the leader of the team, ‘’ This illegal business has already costs the nation a lot in terms of loss of revenue, loss of the environment and the attendant health hazard that the action of these boys cause; this is an ongoing programme and all our activities are now geared towards the eradication of this illegal business’’.

He refuted claims that the army was involved in illegal oil bunkering, adding that those involved in the business were mere criminals.

Lt. Col. Wase noted that, with the destruction of the illegal refineries and the deployment of soldiers in the area, the Warri /Kaduna trunk line would now be more secured and free of frequent disruptions.