Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said that operators of illegal crude oil refineries are causing a great health hazard to residents in the State and destroying the national economy.
He re-emphasised that his administration would not tolerate it.
Governor Wike made the declaration during his meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, on Friday at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Governor told the Defence Chief that the war against illegal crude oil refinery activities is necessary because it poses a significant economic threat.
“You and I know that one product we have today that has kept this country going is oil and gas, which I will say is the main source of our revenue in this country today.
“And so, we must act as a people, as a government, it doesn’t matter whichever faction you may be or whichever divide you may be, or you may find yourself. What is important is that you must defend any of our national assets.
“I will do anything within my powers to see that it is put to stop. I owe it as a duty, first by making sure that the government is not losing revenue.
“Whenever we lose national revenue, it trickles down. It affects us at the State and Local Government levels. So, that is on the revenue aspect of it.
“I am willing to fight it and will continue to fight it. Some people are trying to politicise it, that you are doing it against a certain ethnic group. That can’t change me; it doesn’t matter.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, informed that he was in Port Harcourt as part of the tour of military formations in the Niger Delta to assess security strategies and also to motivate officers for greater efficiency.
General Irabor expressed delight over the audacity shown by Governor Wike in championing the fight against illegal crude oil refinery activities that have been a great threat to the oil and gas industry.