The Commandant Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Rivers Command, Lawal Haruna, says its personnel arrested two persons for allegedly vandalising an oil pipeline and operating illegal refineries.
Haruna disclosed this on Wednesday in Port Harcourt at a news conference.
He said that the suspects were arrested at Amabiukiri Creek in Okrika Local Government Area.
Haruna, who led the operation, said five functional illegal refineries and five others under construction were destroyed by the Command.
He said the continuous construction of illegal refineries was an indication that pipeline vandals were not prepared to abandon the crime.
The commandant advised the vandals to key into the laudable economic policies the Federal and State Governments had floated for unemployed youths.
He said, “The suspects should key into Federal and State Governments programmes for them, instead of the illegal activities.
“Their activities affect the communities in which they operate by way environmental pollution.”
Haruna, who was until his transfer to Rivers, was Commandant, Anti-Vandalism unit, Abuja, said the operation was thoroughly planned and executed.
He said the move followed intelligence report about the illegal refineries in the Amabukiri creek.
In a separate development, NSCDC has called on communities in the Niger Delta to volunteer more information on activities of pipeline vandals to enable the Corps flush them out.
NSCDC spokesperson, Emmanuel Okeh said that the Commandant-General of the Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu had ordered NSCDC officials to evolve new strategies and redouble their efforts in tackling the menace.
Okeh said that more than 20 illegal refineries and 100 suspects were recently arrested in the region following intelligence report.
He explained that the NSCDC had also established a 24-hour Command and Control Centre in Abuja as part of plans to enhance its surveillance on the pipelines.
The spokesperson also stressed the importance of the cooperation and support of host communities to enable the NSCDC improve its operation in the region.
“With the support and cooperation of host communities in the Niger Delta, I can assure you that our operations will be enhanced.
“We need all the necessary information on the activities and hideouts of these vandals from the host communities, he said.
Okeh described pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries as economic sabotage and environment hazard capable of destroying a nation.
He said that the NSCDC would continue to collaborate with other security agencies like the Navy to stem the tide of vandals in the Niger Delta.
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