The Nigerian Army has called for the intervention of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to end illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
The General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Maj. Gen. O.O Oluyede, made the request on Thursday when he received PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) in his office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He identified some of the perpetrators as ex-agitators, who were ignorant of the harm they were doing to the region’s environment.
Oluyede said the army was ready to partner with PAP and other relevant institutions and agencies of government to end the environmental menace.
The army chief also commended Dikio for making PAP a successful platform to sustain the peace in the region.
He said: “We commend you on the remarkable success you have recorded since your appointment and urge you to continue. We also want you to intervene in the issue of illegal oil bunkering”.
In his remarks, Dikio promised to intensify awareness on illegal oil bunkering, describing it as a detrimental contributor to the health of the people.
He said: “We are creating more awareness on the issue. Recently, some of our delegates, ex-agitators held a sensitization workshop here in Port Harcourt as part of our efforts to end illegal oil bunkering.
“Let me state that anyone involved in “kpofire” is like a murderer. They’ve made the atmosphere in and around Port Harcourt a health hazard. That is how bad it is”.
Dikio asked persons involved in illegal bunkering to redirect their energy into palm oil business.
He said: “Rather than engage in kpofire business which endanger the health of the people in the region and in addition destroy our environment and eco system it is better to go into palm oil production.
“That is a very lucrative business. A ton of palm oil currently above $5,000 which is a lot more than a ton of crude oil can fetch.”