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‘JTF destroyed 308 illegal refineries’

An illegal refinery in Niger Delta

The Joint (Military) Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation, Pulo Shield, says the outfit has between January and February 2014 destroyed 308 illegal refineries in the region.

The outgoing Commander, JTF, Maj.-Gen. Iliyasu Abbah, said this during the handover of the  mantle of leadership to Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, a former Commander of Guards Brigade at the outfit’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Saturday.

He said the outfit within the period also impounded and destroyed 30 barges, 155 smuggling boats, 20 tanker trucks and 566 surface tanks used by suspected oil thieves to transport their illegal products.

Abbah, who assumed the command of the outfit on January 10,  was transferred to the Army Headquarters as its Military Secretary, a month after.

The commander reeled out his achievements within the period, after handing over the JTF to the new commander (Atewe).

Abbah said the outfit destroyed 275 drums of illegally refined products, 273 pumping machines and two outboard engines.

He told officers and men of the JTF that illegal oil bunkering would soon be eradicated with the full cooperation of every stakeholder in the region.

He charged officers and men of the JTF to be disciplined, industrious and to shun every temptation that could make them to compromise their professionalism.

Abbah said, “During my stay as the commander, I have studied the situation in the region and have mapped out strategies to that effect but  the exigency of service demands otherwise. I have been transferred to the headquarters as the military secretary.

“I will hand over those strategies I have mapped out to him (Atewe). I believe with the cooperation of stakeholders in the region, the menace of illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, piracy and other illegalities will be eradicated very soon.”

Speaking about his successor, Abbah described him as a very committed military officer.

“Atewe is a very committed military officer. He is going to do the work according to the mandate of the JTF. He is so good to handle the task. I have confidence in his abilities,” he said.

In his remarks, the new commander (Atewe)  vowed to tackle piracy, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the region.

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