7 February 2012
Yenagoa – While unrest in the Niger Delta has sharply declined since a 2009 amnesty deal, crude oil theft and illegal refining of petroleum products has increased in the region in spite of the clamp down on the illicit trade by the country’s security forces, the Joint Task Force codenamed Operation Pulo Shield.
Interestingly, Pulo an Ijaw word meaning oil. The implication is that the JTF is now all out to stamp out this business which is causing more harm to the region’s already fragile ecosystem.
Only last week, the Joint Task Force nabbed another batch of suspected crude oil thieves in Bayelsa State and items recovered from them include a generator set, pumping machine, 8hp outboard engine, a pumping valve, a speed boat, and N42, 010,00 among other personal effect.
The suspects were nabbed by men of the Joint Task Force on routine patrol of the creeks of
Southern Ijaw local government area of the state.
Destroyed illegal refineries.
Influential Nigerians and even the military itself have been accused of involvement in the lucrative illegal oil business, which include a relatively sophisticated level of theft and refining. But the military has denied involvement in the practice.
Oil firms blame theft and sabotage for the majority of oil spills in
, a claim strongly disputed by environmental activists. Nigeria