Over 100 illegal refining camps were destroyed at weekend by the Nigerian Navy
as part of its fight against oil thieves and illegal refineries in the Niger
The four-day exercise codenamed ‘Operation Ex Toru-Gbown’ (waterways protection)
in the region led to the destruction of over 100 illegal facilities, while
several new ones just springing up were demolished by swamp buggy.
Commander of Nigerian Naval Ship, NNS Soroh, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Commodore
Felix Esekhile, who led the operations at Okarki, said the force was returning
to the large expanse in the creeks for the fifth time this year.
With the new installations, including speedboats acquired by the Chief of Naval
Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, the fight against pipeline vandalism
and crude oil theft had been ramped up, he added.
Warning those still in the illicit business to exit the command’s Area of
Responsibility, Esekhile disclosed that the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC)
Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, had directed that all
illegal refineries be flushed out.
He added that his area of responsibility made the entire space uncomfortable for
the oil thieves, which accounted for why they were moving to the outskirts.