By Caleb Tamunosaki

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has warned operators of illegal refineries to stay away from Bayelsa State.

Diri said that Bayelsa has no place for the dangerous activities of the operators of the illegal refineries which have been banned by the Rivers State Government.

Diri spoke when he played the host to the Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, at the Governor House, Yenagoa on Wednesday.

He explained that the disturbing issue of soots pollution in Port Harcourt has been traced to illegal bunkering known in local parlance as ‘kpo fire’ which culminated in the operators being declared wanted.

He stressed that Bayelsa would never tolerate the nefarious activities of illegal refineries operators.

Diri lamented that the indigenes of the Niger Delta are involved in the brazen degradation of the environment for which the people have always blamed the multinational oil firms operating in the area.

He condemned the avoidable damage of the ecosystem by the crude oil production activities of illegal operators.

He warned the illegal operators who are fleeing from the neighbouring Rivers State to avoid the Bayelsa territory as he had constituted a committee to arrest and prosecute any one caught in the illicit act.

“Whatever that happens in Rivers State is transported down here (Bayelsa). We have intelligence that most of them (operators of illegal refineries) want to move to Bayelsa.

“I want to warn that Bayelsa will not condone any of those involved in oil bunkering. Those days are over. We have moved on.

“Anyone who is planning to leave Rivers State to come and start that illicit, illegitimate, illegal business in Bayelsa State, please, have a change of mind and look elsewhere.

“Because we already have a standing committee on that from our state security council meeting and we will come down very hard on anyone that will do that illegal and illegitimate business in Bayelsa.”


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