NSCDC Exhibit Yard In Port Harcourt Set Ablaze

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, has confirmed that the Corps exhibit yard located at Iriebe in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area has been set ablaze by suspected saboteurs.

The exhibit yard contained several impounded trucks, some of which had been forfeited by court order and were to be auctioned.

In a statement made available to the newsmen on Tuesday, the command’s public relations officer, DSC Olufemi Ayodele, the command said the exhibit yard was allotted to it over a decade ago as a result of the influx of many trucks impounded in connection with illegal oil bunkering sure dealings in petroleum products.

He said the then government in power directed that the impounded trucks located around the Command headquarters on Olu Obasanjo way be moved to a more spacious environment to make room for vehicular traffic.

Speaking with newsmen at the scene of the unfortunate incident, the NSCDC Assistant Commandant General in charge of Zone L, covering Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, ACG James Bassey, noted that the NSCDC Rivers State Command had intensified efforts in the fight against vandalism and oil theft leading to the arrests and prosecution of suspected bunkerers while their trucks were impounded.

The NSCDC Zonal Commander, who spoke alongside Commanders of Rivers State EFCC and Federal Fire Service, explained that the exhibit yard was jointly owned by the NSCDC and EFCC.

He said concerted efforts were made to extinguish the fire to prevent it from destroying properties of citizens within the neighborhood.

He said the cause of the fire incident could only be ascertained after thorough investigation but hinted at suspected saboteurs.

He revealed that five suspects have been arrested by the command’s Intelligence and Antivandal Team who cordoned the entire area.

He said,
“The Rivers State Commandant, Abu Tambuwal, has affirmed that the fight against vandalism and illegal dealings in Petroleum products is non-negotiable even as thorough investigation had commenced noting that anyone arrested in connection with the fire incident would be made to face the full wrath of the law. He stressed that the Command under his watch remains undeterred but resolute and dogged as the Corps would continue to collaborate with relevant Security agencies in tackling the menace of illegal oil dealings in Rivers State.

“Gentlemen, obviously this occurrence is an act of sabotage by evil minded persons who want to get back at the NSCDC at all cost. We will not be deterred in our dogged and resolute fight against vandalism of oil pipelines and illegal dealings in petroleum products. We thank all the first responders: the Federal and State Fire Services, the fire fighters unit from Shell Petroleum Company and everyone who collaborated with the NSCDC and EFCC in curtailing the spread of the inferno across neighboring properties.

“The need for stronger synergy amongst security agencies is very paramount, most especially in the area of intelligence and information sharing as this would definitely enhance the Security architecture of the State”.

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