Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced a two million naira reward for council chairmen in the state who are able to identify illegal refinery sites in their localities.
Governor Wike who issued the ultimatum during a meeting with heads of security and Local Government Chairmen in Port Harcourt on Friday said the crime of operating an illegal refinery is worse than the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist.
He, therefore, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the council chairmen in all 23 local government areas of the state to identify the illegal refineries or risk losing their post.
According to the governor, the cash reward of two million naira would also be issued for every site discovered by a chairman.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike accused security personnel including members of the Nigeria Army, the Navy, the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of providing escort services for the operators of the illegal refineries.
He demanded the immediate deployment of an officer of the NSCDC in charge of the Anti-Pipeline Vandalism Unit in the state for allegedly aiding the crime.
The meeting was held one day after Governor Wike, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday inspected two illegal refinery sites in Ikwerre and Emohua Local Government Areas.
According to the governor, it has become necessary to prosecute those involved in illegal refining in order to contain the menace of soot pollution which has continued to endanger public health in the state.