The governor of oil and gas rich Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan says he believes that the Special Task Force headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, would help resolve issues surrounding oil theft in the Nigeria.
He noted that the task-force was meant to overcome the challenges of jurisdiction and prosecution of suspects, adding that all oil theft suspects would now be effectively prosecuted since it was a federal offense.
He commended the Federal Government for the efforts taken to check oil theft in the country and opined that “until prosecution of all those caught in the vandalisation of pipelines and oil thefts is taken seriously no matter their status, we might not get to the end of this problem.”
Governor Uduaghan however argued that Delta State has the least incidents of crude oil theft in the country, acknowledging the drastic reduction in the spate of piracy and kidnapping in the state.
“Among all the states in the Niger/ Delta Region where there is crude oil theft, Delta State is the least affected. I am happy to say that security in the state has improved tremendously as kidnapping, piracy and oil theft has reduced.”
He made the statement Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at a meeting with traditional rulers and Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen in Asaba, where he also urged all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with security agencies to ensure that security was maintained in the starte at all time.
The Governor charged the royal fathers and indigenes of the Niger-Delta Region to cooperate with government and security agencies to checkmate incidents of oil thefts as they were the worst hit by the effects of oil theft stating that “it is not the money being lost through oil theft that is the issue but the damage to the environment through pipiline vandalisation and sabotage. It is not in our interest as we bear the brunt of the physical damage associated with the oil theft especially the contamination of the air, water and food chain and the genetic mutations for years to come.”
He therefore enjoined them to do everything necessary to eradicate the incidents of pipeline vandalism so as to safeguard the environment and their communities.