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Nigerian Air Force destroys illegal oil refining sites in Rivers State

Military Action Targets Oil Thieves as Former Militant Leader Urges Economic Vigilance

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has announced the destruction of four illegal crude oil refining sites located in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, intensifying efforts to curb oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the region.

According to Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, the operation conducted on March 1, 2024, targeted active illegal refining sites at Krakama and Temakiri, located just 50 km southwest of Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Gabkwet confirmed that Cotonou boats were discovered at the illegal sites, likely intended for loading crude oil. The NAF operation resulted in the destruction of both sites and the boats, effectively neutralizing the illicit activities.

He emphasized the military’s unwavering commitment to reducing the activities of crude oil thieves and oil pipeline vandals, signaling a continued crackdown on illegal practices undermining Nigeria’s oil and gas economy.

Meanwhile, former Niger Delta militant leader Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has expressed concerns about the state of the national economy, urging vigilance against individuals jeopardizing Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Addressing journalists during an event in Oporoza, headquarters of the Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State, Tompolo stressed the need to combat economic sabotage and increase daily crude oil production to safeguard the nation’s economic stability.

Tompolo, whose firm Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited is tasked with protecting oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, received the “Internal Security Meritorious Award” from the Nigeria Union of Journalists for his contributions to internal security and efforts to curb crude oil theft in the region.

Acknowledging the vital role of the media in promoting peace and democracy, Tompolo called for appreciation of their efforts in nation-building.

The recognition of Tompolo’s contributions to internal security reflects a significant shift in addressing the challenges posed by crude oil theft, an issue that has long plagued Nigeria’s economic landscape. His efforts signify a collective commitment to safeguarding national resources and fostering peace and stability in the region.

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