Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Wednesday accused the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem of promoting in oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
Governor Wike made the allegation when he played host to the commander Joint Task Force (JTF), “Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade during a courtesy visit to the State House.
The Governor in a statement by his Personal Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakudu, accused Major General Sarham of operating an illegal oil bunkering squad to enable him finance his ambition to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.
Wike said: “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”.
He 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 destroy the security architecture of the state”.
The governor wondered what the JTF Operation Delta Safe would do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering team of the GOC.
He recalled how the people of the state bravely stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a Governor during the elections.
“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 visiting JTF Commander that the State will support their operations to ensure that they defend the Niger Delta, especially the State.
He said: “Anybody who wants to help us fight crime, I will support. I will never support those involved in illegal refineries”.
Real Admiral Akinrinade thanked Wike for the supply of gunboats, security vehicles and finances for security operations in the area.
He assured him that the Joint Task Force will not relent in fighting crime in the State.
He noted that the troop 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.