Over 30 people burnt to death at illegal oil refining site in Rivers
Over 30 people were roasted in an explosion at an illegal oil refining site in the Ibaa Community of Emohua local government area of Rivers State on Sunday.
Dr. Chidi Lloyd, the Chairman of Emohua local government area confirmed the tragic incident on Monday.
He said that it was unfortunate that despite his administration’s advocacy on the dangers of illegal oil bunkering residents of oil-bearing communities continue to be involved in the dangerous illegal business.
The local government chairman also called on traditional rulers to speak out about criminal activities going on in their domains.
“It is unfortunate for people to lose their lives in such a dastardly manner by engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities. The world can bear me witness that I have done a lot of advocacy talking about the dangers of illegal oil bunkering in my local government, but unfortunately, they will not listen.
“Traditional rulers have a role play in this in this kind of situation. It is not enough to fight for recognition by the government, but you will not lead the people well so we can avoid this kind of tragedy.”
He said the government has always advised that when people see illegal activities going on in their environment, they should speak out so that actions will be taken.
Dr Lloyd also identified Obele, Rumuji and Ndele as communities where illegal refining activities still persist.
He, however, raised concerns about the role of the security operatives, especially, the military in addressing the situation in Ibaa Community.
The local government Chairman said he had raised alarm about illegal oil refining activities in these communities to security agencies without the necessary action.
“And it is not as if they are not aware of what is going on. I always ask this question: How do these people transport this crude without the security agencies intercepting them and arresting them? he queried.
Lloyd pointed out further that there is an Army formation in Ibaa. ‘And how do they engage in these activities without the military people knowing about it
Recall that on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Rumuekpe also in Emohua LGA, an explosion burnt dozens including, women and children beyond recognition. The incident happened at a site where they were stealing petroleum products on the Trans-Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) that passed through the community. L