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Tompolo canvasses more crude output as NAF destroys illegal refineries

The Nigerian Air Force said, on Sunday, that its men discovered and destroyed four illegal crude oil refining sites at Krakama and Temakiri in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.

NAF’s  Director of Public Relations and Information,  Air Vice Marshal, Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Sunday, said the sites were destroyed in an operation conducted on March 1, 2024.

Both locations are barely 50 km southwest of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

Cotonou boats were at the active illegal refining sites to load crude oil.

“The two Illegal sites, as well as the boats, were subsequently struck, engulfed in flames, and destroyed.

“The armed reconnaissance was also extended to Abisse and Omoma, but only abandoned illegal refining sites were observed,” Gabwet said.

He vowed that the military would not relent in efforts to reduce to the barest minimum the activities of crude oil thieves and oil pipeline vandals.

Meanwhile, erstwhile Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has expressed worry over the state of the national economy just as he appealed to all Nigerians to “guard against greedy saboteurs of the nation’s oil and gas economy.”

Tompolo said he would strive to ensure an increase in the daily crude oil production output by checking oil theft.

Tompolo, whose company, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, is engaged by the Federal Government to protect oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, said all must be done to stop economic saboteurs.

“Our economy is in dire need of survival, so we cannot fold our hands and allow some people to sabotage the nation’s economy because of greed,” he stated.

He spoke at the weekend at Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta, where he was conferred with the “Internal Security Meritorious Award” by the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

Addressing newsmen, Tompolo acknowledged the pivotal role of the media in promoting peace and stabilising democracy in the country.

“The only place I have to call my country is Nigeria, so I will do everything within my power,  to see that crude oil production increases.

“The critical role of the media in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. Nothing reasonable can be achieved without the media, so, I want to appeal that they should be appreciated,” Tompolo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Tompolo’s firm, Tantita, between January and February 2024 impounded MT Kali and MT Harbor Spirit vessels said to be illegally siphoning crude oil in Bayelsa.

The two heavy ocean-going liners were recently ordered to be forfeited to the Federal Government by the court.

The courts also ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd to sell the stolen crude oil contained in the vessels.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, lauded Tompolo’s contributions to internal security,  particularly in the Niger Delta region.

He noted that the awardee had substantially helped the country to address the issue of crude oil theft, which, according to him, had over time, occupied the national life of Nigerians.

“But today, somebody has risen to the occasion and gathered an array of young men who have taken it upon themselves to help this country continue to survive as a peaceful and united nation.

“By his commitment, dedication and diligence,  Nigeria as a country has to a very large extent, reduced activities of men of the underworld consistently engaged in pilfering and taking our common patrimony for their selfish gains.

“We decided that we must accord the necessary recognition to the man who carries the flag, and birthed this organisation.

“A man who has exceptionally distinguished himself, and has been celebrated by Nigerians across all walks of life.

“A general in his own right, who has distinguished himself, ensured and maintained an appreciable level of internal security.”

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