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Ahoada West Council destroys 82 illegal refining sites

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The Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers, Hope Ikiriko, has disclosed that no fewer than 82 illegal crude oil refineries across communities within the area have been destroyed.

Ikiriko stated this through the press secretary of the council, Madu Madueke at a press briefing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

According to Madueke, the destruction was carried out by the local government, in collaboration with security agencies.

The raid on the illegal refineries followed Governor Nyesom Wike’s order to the 23 local government areas chairmen in the state to identify and destroy all illegal crude oil bunkering and artisan refining sites in their areas.

 “During the exercise, 19 illegal refining points were destroyed in Idu-Ekpeye and three in Ebrass communities while drilling machines and other local equipment used for the illegal crude trade were impounded.’ he said.

The council chairman restated his commitment to sustaining the fight against the illicit trade until sanity was restored to the area now bedeviled by poor air quality.

“We will no longer tolerate lawlessness in this area and that’s why we have come to ensure an end to this life-threatening bunkering business.

“Operators have ignored warnings; they have received series of warnings from the governor through different means. We are left with no option but to protect our environment,” he said.

Ikiriko commended volunteers who provided tip-offs that enabled the raid but blamed the multinational oil companies in the state for complicity and poor relationship with government at all levels.

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