Wike accuses Nigerian Army of running oil bunkering syndicate in Rivers.

Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the Nigerian Army of running illegal bunkering in Rivers State.
The governor accused Jamil Sarham, the general officer commanding of 6 Division in Port Harcourt, of raising a team of soldiers to damage oil pipelines and steal petroleum products.

“The GOC has his own team now doing oil bunkering for him because he wants to be chief of army staff,” Mr Wike said while receiving a team of military personnel from ‘Operation Delta Safe’ on Wednesday.

“If you give that kind of person chief of army staff, what kind of security would we have in this country?”

“He cannot be removed here because they know the role he is playing for them: sabotaging our security architecture,” the governor added.

Mr Wike said Mr Sarham, a major-general, regularly divulges confidential security briefings to criminals, and the military leadership’s reluctance in removing him was deliberate.

“We would have security meeting, he will release it to criminals,” Mr Wike said. “And chief of army staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.

Mr Wike said he has been leading security efforts to “reduce crime to the barest minimum,” in Rivers, which ranks amongst Nigeria’s most volatile states. But the army constitutes an obstacle for success, he alleged.

The ‘Operation Delta Safe’ is a joint-security patrol of the Niger Delta region, where cases of oil theft and disruption of oil installations are regularly reported. The courtesy visit to Mr Wike was led by Akinjide Akinrinade, a naval rear admiral and overall head of the operation.
Mr Wike said it would be difficult for ‘Operation Delta Safe’ to arrest military personnel sent on oil bunkering mission if they encountered one another in the creeks.

The governor did not provide any evidence to substantiate his allegations.

Mr Wike, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, has regularly made wild allegations against Buhari administration officials and security chiefs. Following the discovery of a cash haul in Ikoyi in April 2017, Mr Wike claimed the money belonged to Rivers State, having allegedly been plundered by his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi.
But when asked to provide evidence during forfeiture hearings, the governor failed to make any submission to the court. The money was later claimed by the Nigeria Intelligence Agency and forfeited to the Nigerian government

Mr Wike has also regularly accused the government and security agencies, including the police, of plotting to assassinate him without corroboration.

Mr Sarham declined comments to PREMIUM TIMES about the allegations on Sunday morning. He admitted that the allegations are “grievous,” but said he has not received clearance to make a public statement as of 9:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Nigerian Army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, told PREMIUM TIMES he cannot comment on the allegations Sunday morning

He asked that enquiries should be directed at Aminu Ilyasu, a spokesperson for the 6 Division. But Mr Ilyasu, a colonel, also declined comments, saying he was at a function and could not immediately say when it would be a good time for him to speak

Messrs Wike and Sarham have clashed repeatedly since the army chief was appointed as the GOC of 6 Division in August 2018.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.