The governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has called on royal fathers in the South-south to help deal with the problem of crude oil theft in the region.
Oshiomhole made the call when traditional rulers from the South-south paid him a visit over the weekend at the government house, Benin City.
He noted that the royal fathers have a role to play in helping to solve the problem which he said is destabilising the country and wrecking environmental havoc.
He added that in situations where the environment is damaged, the country may not have the resources to regenerate it.
“Across the South-south, too many of our people who want quick money involve in crude oil theft. In Edo state around Agbede, it is an oil producing area, but for some reasons, there are all kinds of illegal refineries polluting and destroying a place that is ordinarily suitable for agriculture”, he said.
Oshiomhole told the royal fathers that the fact that he is in government means that there are things he can not reveal, but they still exist.
He expressed worries over how criminals are having a field day with the oil and gas that belongs to the nation.
He stressed that the perpetrators of these illegalities are small boys who have made enough money from the resources that do not belong to them, which they have used to purchase weapons as well as carve a domain for themselves from where they carry out their evil acts.
” I am very worried about the future of our country, if few people take so much and the rest of us in the country have so little to share and these people are not invisible. If the volume of oil smuggling is so much and you know tje amount, it means you should know the smugglers,” he noted.
Oshiomhole stressed that Nigeria must build the courage to speak truth to power, as well as traditionally institutions, saying that if anyone is found wanting, whether he is the president, governor, minister or traditional ruler, the law should take its course, noting that Nigeria is greater than any one.
He advocated a reform in the local government administration in order to make traditional rulers responsible for whatever happens at the local level.
The governor said a situation where the Local Government Service Commission is responsible for recruitments and staff posting in local governments does not aid development as a council may be overstaffed by the commission such it will use the allocation accruing to it to pay salaries at the expense of other development projects.