Usman Jibrin, the Commander-General of the Inspector-General (IGP) Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism, has issued warning to oil thieves to desist from the illegality immediately.
Jibrin, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), gave the warning on Tuesday during his maiden visit to the Warri unit of the task force attached to the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) in Warri Depot.
Addressing newsmen, Jibrin, who assumed duty recently, said that crude oil theft would no longer be business as usual for the perpetrators.
“Those who are vandalising the resources of this country, definitely they are not going to have it in easy way henceforth.
” The illegal bunkerers are in for hard time; it is not going to be businesses as usual.
“We cannot continue to blame the government; we are the government and we have the right to continue to protect government’s properties,” he said.
Jibrin said that anyone caught in the illicit business would face the wrath of the law.
The commander-general had earlier advised his officers and men to be committed to the mandate of protecting lives and properties.
“As you are aware, I have just been appointed into this office, so I need to familiarise myself with the locations and the officers who are working in this unit.
” I told them to do their job diligently. We have the mandate to protect lives and property; this is the primary duty of every policeman.
“This is what we are telling them that they should not play with that mandate; we must fulfill it.
“We have work to do and we must do it to the best of our ability,” he said.
Seven suspected crude oil thieves, comprising five male and two female, were paraded before the commander-general and his entourage.
The Warri Unit Commander, SP Mohammed EL-Yakubu, with the visitors, later proceeded to a jetty to inspect the confiscated boats and the tents of the task force.