- The State Commissioner for Information, with thoughts of the youths in mind, is pushing for a holistic non-violent approach
The Akwa Ibom State Government has joined forces with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to combat the rampant issues of oil bunkering and illegal mining within the state. This collaborative effort aims to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment for the residents.
Mr. Ini Ememobong, the State Commissioner for Information, emphasized the critical need to decriminalize society to ensure the safety of lives and properties. Ememobong highlighted the devastating impact of oil bunkering and illegal mining on the environment.
He expressed concerns about the shocking devastation caused by these criminal activities, rendering lands unsuitable for farming and posing significant health risks to natives. He pointed out that oil spills seeping into the soil layers eventually contaminate water sources, including streams, ponds, rivers, and boreholes, leading to widespread pollution and possibly cancer
The commissioner underscored the multifaceted consequences of these illegal practices, including water and air pollution, food poisoning due to carbon monoxide exposure on plant leaves, and the destruction of aquatic life. Ememobong commended the NSCDC officials for their efforts in securing the environment and safeguarding agricultural farmlands, acknowledging the importance of their role in preventing potential famines.
To address the problem at its roots, Ememobong proposed a non-violent approach. He suggested rehabilitating youths through human capital development, offering amnesty, empowerment programs, training initiatives, and licensing opportunities.
By officially integrating these individuals into the oil sector, particularly in modular refineries, the government could generate revenue for sustained development while eliminating the illegal activities.
In response, the State Commandant of NSCDC, Eluwade M. Eluyemi also mentioned the successful arrests of several illegal miners, indicating progress in their joint mission to combat these unlawful practices.