The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, over alleged plans by operators of illegal refineries to stage protest in Ekpeyeland of Rivers State.
The civil society organisation said according to a petition forwarded to it by a community-based group, the Ekpeye Environmental Concern (ECC), the illegal refining operators had concluded plans with the President of Ekpeye Youth Congress (EYC) to stage a protest against the ongoing onslaught by a pipeline surveillance contractor for a multinational in the area.
CLO, in the petition, which was signed by its South-South zonal chairman, Karl Chinedu Uchegbu, called on IGP Baba and President Muhammadu Buhari to take note of the nefarious activities of the illegal refiners and their cohorts in the Ekpeye Youth Congress.
The petition reads in part: “Reliable information reaching based on the petition to us Ekpeye Environmental Concern, has revealed that the President Ekpeye Youth Congress, has been holding meetings with illegal oil bunkerers and refiners in the area, sabotaging the efforts of the Rivers State government in checking environmental polution and the menace of black soot that has heightened the health hazards in state.
“We are calling on the Inspector General of Police and President Mohammadu Buhari to take note of the nefarious activities of the illegal refiners and their cohorts in the Ekpeye Youth Congress, who are promoting oil theft and encouraging economic sabotage in Ekpeyeland, in the guise of staging a protest.
“We are reliably informed that the EYC president has been recruiting youths to demonstrate against the stoppage of illegal refining activities in the area.
“It is most absurd that the purported reason for this planned protest is that the surveillance contractor is not from the area and t.fore is in violation of the Local Content Law.
“Under the Local Content Law, any Nigerian is qualified to bid for and execute for any contract within Nigerian territory. It is t.fore funny that any Nigerian will hide under the local content Law to perpetrate any illegal act.”
The group, t.fore, urged the Inspector General of Police to urgently investigate the activities of the illegal refinery operators and their enablers in the Ekpeye Youth Congress, as it might lead to a breach of the public peace.
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