The war of words between the Rivers State government and the Nigerian army took a different dimension on Wednesday when Governor Nyesom Wike accused the GOC, 6 Division, of involvement in oil bunkering in the state.
Governor Wike berated the General Officer Commanding the 6 Division of the Nigerian army, Major General Jamil Sarhem, for allegedly running an illegal oil bunkering squad for the purpose of financing his quest to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.
The governor declared that any attempt to appoint the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian army as the Chief of Army Staff would spell doom for the nation’s failing security architecture.
He spoke on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by the Commander of Joint Task Force, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
“The GOC is doing illegal bunkering, which he is using to finance his quest to emerge as the country’s Chief of Army Staff.
“He has his own team that is making money for him through oil bunkering,” Wike said.
The governor accused the GOC of compromising security in Rivers State through illegal actions.
“We will have a security meeting and he will release the details to criminals. And the Chief of Army Staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.
“How will security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? He will compromise when fighting to reduce crime. They sent us a GOC who destroys the security architecture of the state,” he said.
Governor Wike wondered what the Joint Task Force ‘Operation Delta Safe’ would do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering team of the GOC.
Governor Wike said Rivers people stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a governor on the state during the elections.
He added: “A man came to plot coup. The people resisted him for plotting coup. You want to impose a party that has no candidate for National Assembly and state Assembly elections on the people. How will such a party win the governorship election? A party that nobody has seen their posters. Rivers people said no.
“He has result sheets. Let him bring the result sheets to the tribunal. Army now has result sheets. That is now part of their mandate.”
Governor Wike assured the Commander of the Joint Task Force, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, that the Rivers State government would support their operations to ensure that they defend the Niger Delta, especially Rivers State.
“Anybody who wants to help us fight crime, I will support. I will never support those involved in illegal refineries,” he stated.
Earlier, the Commander the Joint Task Force, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, thanked the Rivers State governor for the supply of gunboats, security vehicles, and finances for security operations in the area.
He assured the governor that the Joint Task Force would not relent in fighting crime in the state.
“Governor Wike is a consummate politician and grassroots leader. As a man who understands national security, he understands that national security itself is local.
“We want to seriously commend you on your numerous achievements you’ve made since your tenure. I will like to take this opportunity to congratulate the governor on the renewal of your mandate to serve the people of Rivers State for another four years,” he said.
The Commander said that the Joint Task Force, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, has recorded successes in the protection of oil and gas facilities and the maintenance of internal security in the area.
He appealed to leaders to engage youths to shun crime and criminality for the development of the state.