Military ‘immobilizes’ illegal refineries in Niger-Delta region – DHQ

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By  Chimezie Godfrey

The military has immobilized several illegal refinaries and forestalled other activities of economic saboteurs in the Niger-Delta region of the country.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Maj Gen John Enenche disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing Journalists on the military Operations from 3rd to 15th December, 2020.

Enenche noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued to sustain their efforts in the execution of major operations across the country.

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According to him, in the North West, North East and North Central Zones troops have progressively sustained their efforts to rid the Zones of banditry and other sundry crimes.

He also pointed out that within the period in focus, troops carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and air operations, which resulted in the neutralization and arrest of some criminals as well as recovery of arms and ammunition in these zones.

Enenche stressed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction with other security agencies operating in the Operation Delta Safe area of responsibility carried out comprehensive anti-illegal refinery and anti-oil theft operations in the South-South Zone.

He said,”The Operations led to the discovery and immobilization of several illegal refineries and forestalling of other activities of economic saboteurs.

“Notably, on 3 December 2020, some repentant cultists surrendered weapons to troops of 29 Battalion and Nigerian Police at Bodo Community in Gakama Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“The weapons surrendered include 4 AK 47 rifles, 5 G3 rifles, 2 Pump action guns, 2 locally made pistols, one Dane-gun, one K2 rifle, one Pump Machine rifle, 13 magazines and 240 rounds of ammunition.

“Meanwhile, on 6 December, troops of 103 Battalion discovered 8 illegal oil refineries at Iyalama and Jellikiri general areas in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“The illegal refineries were immobilized by troops and the areas secured to deter reactivation of the facilities.”

Enenche also disclosed that on 3 December 2020, troops of 29 Battalion discovered and immobilized an illegal refinery containing about 5,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“While troops of 146 Battalion on same day, discovered and immobilized 3 reactivated illegal refinery sites containing 6 boilers, 12 storage tanks and one wooden boat with illegally refined petroleum products around Opokiri and Ijawkiri in Bonny Local Government Area of the State.

“Moreso, on same day, troops of 103 Battalion immobilized a warehouse containing 53 jerry cans of illegally refined AGO along Abonnema- Obonoma Road in  Akuku-Toru Local Government Area,” he said.

The Defence Spokesperson also revealed that on 5 December 2020, troops of 29 Battalion discovered and immobilized 3 illegal oil refinery sites around Bolo 1, 2 and 3 as well as Tupsoi in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area.

“On same day, troops immobilized illegal refinery sites around Ikata and Edeoha in Ahoada East Local Government Area, while troops of 19 Battalion intercepted and immobilized 2 wooden boats laden with illegally refined AGO along Otunana Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.

“Also, on same day, troops of 146 Battalion intercepted and immobilized 4 wooden boats and unspecified quantity of crude oil around Orutoru and Peterside in Bonny Local Government Area of River State.

“In another development, on 6 December 2020, troops of 103 Battalion immobilized 3 wooden boats mounted with 40 Horse Power out board engines around Sama Creek in the State.

“Also, on same day, troops of 3 Battalion arrested 4 pipeline vandals with 3 gas cylinders, one local boat, one sledge hammer, one nozzle and a hose at Kusumi Community in Warri South – West Local Government Area of Delta State.

“On 7 December 2020, troops of 146 Battalion demobilized illegal refining sites containing 7 boilers, 2 reservoirs and a storage tanks laden with illegally refined petroleum products around Orutoru and Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State,” he said.

Enenche also noted that in the South West zone, troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the zone.

He revealed that on 3 December 2020, troops of 32 Artillery Brigade in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Police Force, NSCDC And NDLEA arrested 2 suspected drug  peddlers with 59 bags of Indian Hemp along Ala road in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State.

He also disclosed that in another development, troops of Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Igbokoda arrested a suspected kidnapper at Asere in Ese Odo Local government Area of the State.

According to him, the suspect has since been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.

Enenche encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.

He also reassured the general public of its untiring dedication towards securing the country.

Enenche further enjoined members of the general public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action.

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