Special Task Force will check oil theft —Uduaghan

Posted by News Express | 26 September 2013 | 4,409 times

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Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said 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 country.

He particularly noted that the task force was meant to overcome the challenges of jurisdiction and prosecution of suspects

Governor Uduaghan stated this yesterday when he met with traditional rulers and Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen in Asaba, the state capital. He said that with the setting up of the task force, all oil theft suspects would now be effectively prosecuted since it was a federal offence.

Dr. Uduaghan commended the Federal Government for the steps 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.”

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 theft as they are the worst hit by the effects of oil theft. “It is not the money being lost through oil theft that is the issue but the damage to the environment through pipeline 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,” the governor stated.

He therefore enjoined them to do everything necessary to eradicate incidents of pipeline vandalism so as to safeguard the environment in their communities.

The governor stated that Delta State has the least incidents of crude oil theft in the country. He acknowledged the drastic reduction in the spate of piracy and kidnapping in the state and urged the royal fathers and all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with security agencies to ensure that security was maintained at all time.

“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,” Governor Uduaghan said.

On health issues, Dr. Uduaghan charged all stakeholders in the health sector, including traditional rulers and Local Government Transitional Committee Chairmen, to be actively involved in the maintenance of the state polio free status through the sensitisation of their people to take part in the routine immunisation and ensuring that their environment is kept clean.

According to him, “For us in Delta State for the past four years the state has been polio free. We are carrying out all these campaigns to help sustain this status and prevent our children from being infested with any of these diseases through those moving into the state from other states.”

The governor opined that the state routine immunisation exercise needs to be improved upon. He explained that the role of the traditional rulers and the chairmen is to enlighten and mobilise people in their communities to visit the different centres created for the routine immunisation, monitor health workers and create management teams that would ensure that the people always go to the health centres for immunisation.

Dr. Uduaghan also decried the poor sanitary conditions in some of the local government areas and charged the local government chairmen to work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Waste Management Board to improve the sanitary conditions of their areas. He urged them to always evacuated waste properly and imbibe good sanitary habits to make their areas free of polio and other diseases.

The governor informed the audience that the state would soon establish two waste incinerators in Warri and Asaba for the recycling of waste.

Traditional Rulers and Transition Committee Chairmen who commented called for improved publicity for the routine immunisation exercise to enable the people understand what was expected from them.

•Photo shows Governor Uduaghan (middle), Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (left), and Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Barr. New-world Safugha, during the governor’s meeting with traditional rulers and Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen, yesterday at the Government House, Asaba.

Source: News Express

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