Nigerian soldiers have made tremendous progress in curbing the menace of oil refining in the Niger Delta region.
Troops of the Operation Delta Safe have destroyed 80 illegal refineries in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.
According to a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday by Maj. Abubakar Abdullahi, the Co-ordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Operation Delta Safe, seven illegal refineries were destroyed in Bayelsa.
Abdullahi said the refineries were discovered around Obhoyohan and Ngiri Creeks in Nembe Local Government Area of the state. He said that they contained 150,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil, while three suspects had been arrested in connection with the illegalities.
In Delta, Abdullahi said the troops destroyed six illegal refineries made up of four storage tanks and two dug out pits filled with suspected crude oil around Sara Abiteye swamp in Warri South West Local Government Area.
“Additionally, another patrol at the axis Ajoloso Creek in Elume community destroyed a camp housing eight illegal refineries.
“Similarly, troops destroyed nine illegal refineries that comprised four ground pits and three metal tanks filled with product suspected to be stolen crude oil at Katu near Camp 5 in Warri South-West.
“This is in addition to seven illegal refineries earlier destroyed around Opunami Creek.
“Another patrol conducted around Udu, Ughelli South Local Government Area discovered eight illegal refineries depot at Udu trailer park and destroyed 1200 drums laden with 140 metric tonnes of illegally refined diesel,’’ he said. Abdullahi also said that the troops destroyed 10 illegal refineries around Bolo in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers.
“This is in addition to 25 others earlier raided at Creek 6 and Ijokiri in the same Local Government Area,’’ he said.
The media coordinator appealed to the people to support Operation Delta Safe with useful information, adding that all hands must be on deck to frustrate the activities of economic saboteurs.
“Let me also advise the sponsors and operators of illegal refineries to desist from the economic sabotage which begets environmental pollution and other social problems.
“Our troops would not relent until our mandate is achieved,’’ the coordinator said.