The Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Abia, Mr Nnamdi Nwannukwu, says he will make the state uncomfortable for oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
Nwannukwu said this on Wednesday at Isialangwa while briefing newsmen on recent arrest of four illegal oil-bunkering suspects by his command at different locations in Aba.
He promised to ensure an end to the illegal activities in the state, adding that the command had impounded two vehicles, a tanker and a truck, allegedly used by criminals to convey stolen petroleum products.
Nwannukwu, who assumed duty in the state alleged that the products conveyed in the impounded vehicles were illegally refined and brought into the state, describing the trend as criminal.
He admonished Abia youths to engage in legitimate means of livelihood and shun criminal acts.
“The NSCDC under my watch, will do everything within the law and its core mandate to rid Abia of oil-bunkering, pipeline vandalism and other related crimes and criminality.
“The youths should purge themselves of criminal tendencies and engage in legitimate businesses, otherwise they should leave the state because we will make here uncomfortable for them,” he said.
Two of the suspects, Ikechukwu Okorie, driver of the tanker, with Registration number Abia KPU 166 XA and his conductor, John Chidozie, said that they were hired by one Onyekachi Onwuchekwa to convey 10,000-litre product from Ogoni in Rivers to Aba.
Okorie said that they were arrested on Sunday morning in Aba and admitted that he was aware that the business was illegal.
He said that he was pushed into it “by hunger” and appealed to the NSCDC for leniency.
Also, 33-year-old Ifeanyi Kalu, driver of the truck with Reg. No. Lagos SMK 959 XN, claimed that he was contacted on phone by the owner of the product, now at large, to convey diesel from Rivers to Aba.
Kalu was arrested on Monday with one Peter Okorie, an auto mechanic, who was said to be fixing the vehicle where it broke down at Ogbor Hill in Aba, when they were apprehended.
The NSCDC boss said that the suspects would be arraigned at the end of the investigations.
Last week, no fewer than 11 persons were arrested by NSCDC operatives in Aba for oil theft and other economic sabotage offences in Aba.