The people of Ugborodo community have raised the alarm over the devastation caused on the community as a result of the activities of miscreants, who engaged in illegal refining of petroleum products in the area. They said the environmental pollution and destruction of the eco-system in the area have increased.
Speaking to Vanguard, yesterday, through a telephone chat, Secretary of the Ugborodo Community Governing Council, Dr. Ayoa Ayomike, said:
“The present achievements of the military in dealing with illegal refineries in the area will be short-lived if security personnel do not remain to prevent future regrouping by those that chose illegal refining of crude oil as their new found profession.
“Despite all entreaties, enlightenment programmes, including endless appeals made by the leadership of the Ugborodo Community Governing Council, some individuals, who are indigenes of the community still opt to connive with non-indigenes to engage in illegal refining of crude oil.
“Beside the economic haemorrhage being inflicted on the Nigerian state, we are most concerned about the environmental damage that is daily being inflicted on the community and environs by those that engage in illegal refining.
“What is equally painful is that those who engage in this act of criminality are mostly non-indigenes. Paper reports and photographs clearly attest to this.”
Ayomike appealed to the military to observe all rules of engagement, particularly to ensure that no human casualty is recorded, with possible collateral damage reduced to the level of near non-existence while dealing with the problem.