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Oil theft: Organisation advises volunteers to safeguard environment


YENAGOA –  A community-based organisation, Ondewari Health Education and Environmental Project, has advised the members of Bayelsa Volunteers Scheme to safeguard the environment in the discharge of their duty.

Mr Tontiemote Yeiyei, Project Officer of the organisation, said on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the organisation would always advocate for a sustainable environment in Southern Ijaw communities of Bayelsa.

He noted that the state government inaugurated the scheme in April with 1,100 youths as volunteers to assist security agents in the fight against oil theft.

He advised the volunteers to avoid indiscriminate disposal of crude oil when they had to take action against illegal refineries.

“Moreover, government should consider the option of meaningfully engaging the operators of the refineries in dialogue,’’ he said.

He urged the government to place the scheme in an agency for accountability and control, insisting that the activities of the volunteers might have direct unfavourable environmental effects on the communities.

Mr Alex Akhigbe, the spokesman of the police in Bayelsa, said the volunteers had yet to begin operations.

“The scheme has yet to take off; and I can assure you that there is going to be a control when it is effective,’’ Akhigbe said. (NAN)

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