The Delta State Government has warned against illegal petroleum task forces extorting petroleum tanker drivers on the state’s roadways.
Chief Frank Ojenima, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Petroleum Products Monitoring, made the announcement in Asaba over the weekend.
He stated that the administration had put in place tools to bring violators to justice in order to reduce the threat of illegal petroleum checkpoints in the state.
Chief Ojenima said the state government was dissatisfied with the rate at which unlawful task force checkpoints were springing up around the state and urged perpetrators to stop.
He further stated that unlawful task force members do not pay to government coffers, posing a threat to the state’s economic progress.
He emphasized that recent clashes between the unlawful task force and tanker drivers had resulted in the loss of life and property, emphasizing the necessity to rein in the sector’s ruthless practices.
“It has come to the attention of the state administration that some individuals have formed an illegal task force to set up unauthorized petroleum checkpoints throughout Delta State.”
“They harass and assault truck drivers, collecting money and causing traffic congestion on the road.”
“We’ve deployed a monitoring team around the state to combat the threat posed by illicit petroleum checkpoints,” he said.
Chief Ojenima stated that the task force has worked with security authorities to apprehend those responsible for the heinous act.
“Let me use this means to warn them to keep off the road because the monitoring crew will be coming around, and if they don’t stop, the law will come after them.”
Tanker drivers detained by the unlawful task force should phone 07031121973 or report to the Petroleum Monitoring Office in Asaba, he said.
Ojenima also issued a warning to individuals participating in illegal oil bunkering, saying that it is a form of economic sabotage as well as environmental destruction.