By The Evangelist News edition, Tuesday, January 16, 2024.
Newly launched armed security outfit in Akwa Ibom State, Waterways Transport Association of Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (WTAPMN) has joined the war against oil thieves, sea pirates and other criminals in Nigeria’s oil sector.
The armed group said plans had been concluded to rid the creeks and waterways of criminal elements.
Akwa Ibom State secretary of the group, Prince Fidelis Ekanem, who addressed journalists in Uyo, the state capital, said the oil sector crimes had led to huge revenue losses, which had rendered the country’s economy prostrate.
Working with other security agencies including the marine police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other oil industry regulators and stakeholders, Ekanem said the group’s operation is backed by government and warned sea criminals to leave the coastal communities or be ready to face the firepower of the Joint Task Force (JTF) team.
He said, “We are ready to take the war to the criminals sabotaging the nation’s economy by stealing our crude oil and other unwholesome practices by fraudulent elements in the oil sector.
“We are determined to weed out those criminals perpetrating bunkering activities in our waterways. We have trained over 15 people each across the 31 local government areas to provide intelligence to our security operatives.