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Adulterated Petroleum Products: Akwa Ibom State Consumes 80% Illicit Fuel, Says WTAPMAN Secretary

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Mr. Fidelis Ekanem, the Southsouth Secretary of the Waterways Transport Association of Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (WTAPMAN), has revealed that Akwa Ibom State consumes a staggering 80% of adulterated petroleum products.

Speaking to reporters in Uyo, Ekanem emphasized the alarming prevalence of illegal bunkerers operating in the downstream sector of the oil industry.

Leading a sensitization tour along the streets of Uyo with hundreds of WTAPMAN members, Ekanem highlighted the group’s collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State government, the Ministry of Internal Security and Waterways, and other security agencies to combat oil sector criminals.

Ekanem clarified that Akwa Ibom lacks essential facilities such as refineries, tank farms, and oil depots, relying on neighboring states like Calabar and Port Harcourt for petroleum products. However, illegal sources dominate the market, with only about 20% of products entering the state through legal channels.

He warned oil sector thieves to leave the state immediately or face the consequences, indicating the involvement of a Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising operatives from the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the regular Police, and other security agencies in ongoing reforms aimed at curbing illicit activities in the sector.

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Crime

Governor Umo Eno Redirects Birthday Celebrations to Support the Underprivileged

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In a heartfelt appeal, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, has asked his friends and well-wishers to forego the usual newspaper or television birthday greetings and gifts for his upcoming birthday on April 24, 2024.

Instead, the Governor has urged them to dedicate the day to supporting the underprivileged by donating the intended gifts to orphanages and vulnerable communities.

Governor Eno emphasized that the most meaningful gift his friends could offer would be to visit orphanages and homes for the vulnerable, bringing them food and other helpful items. He requested that they take photos of these visits and send them to him to create a birthday album. “These pictures would be more appreciated than any newspaper advertorial and will serve as the best birthday present,” he stated.

This unique approach to celebrating his landmark birthday reflects Governor Eno’s longstanding commitment to the welfare of the downtrodden and aligns with his gratitude for the blessings he has received. Conscious of the current economic climate, Governor Eno has decided against any lavish celebrations for his birthday.

Additionally, Governor Eno plans to use his birthday as an opportunity to inaugurate several major infrastructure projects. These include a multibillion-naira 1.3 km underground flood control tunnel, the restoration of surface drains and walkways, as well as road rehabilitation works. These projects underscore the advancements made in his first 10 months in office.

The day will conclude with a Thanksgiving Service at 4 p.m. at the International Christian Worship Centre in Uyo, celebrating both the governor’s life and the progress of Akwa Ibom State. The service is open to all residents and visitors who wish to express their gratitude and support.

Governor Eno’s redirection of his birthday celebrations toward charitable acts and community service sets a compelling example of leadership and community engagement.

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Crime

EFCC Commences Probe into Eight Suspects for Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering in Akwa Ibom

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the initiation of an investigation into eight individuals suspected of engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in Akwa Ibom State.

According to EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale, who issued a statement in Uyo on Tuesday, the suspects were apprehended for dealing in petroleum products without the appropriate licensing.

Though the identities of the suspects were not disclosed, Oyewale stated that they were arrested by the Nigeria Navy Ship, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, on February 23 while aboard a wooden boat named MV Jasmine.

“The suspects were apprehended in possession of 30,000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, stored in four plastic tanks,” he added.

Oyewale further mentioned that the suspects and the confiscated exhibits were handed over to the EFCC on April 3 by the Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke.

Assuring a thorough investigation into the matter, the EFCC spokesperson reiterated the commission’s commitment to addressing illegal oil bunkering activities.

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Crime

Police Officers Injured in Cult Attack During Undercover Mission in Akwa Ibom State

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Two officers of the Nigeria Police Force, reportedly on an undercover mission, were severely injured by suspected cult members in Akwa Ibom State.

Reports revealed that the officers narrowly escaped being lynched but suffered multiple machete and projectile assaults by the criminals.

According to sources, the incident occurred when the officers, from the Abak local government area divisional headquarters, went to Ibong Ikot Akpan Abasi Village, Otoro Clan in Abak local government area to arrest a wanted criminal known as Udo. They succeeded in apprehending the suspect but encountered vehicle trouble on their way back to the station.

The criminals, led by Udo, raised an alarm claiming they were being kidnapped by unknown persons. This prompted youths from the community to mobilize and attack the officers with machetes and other weapons, despite their attempts to show their identity cards.

The severity of the attack left the officers with bruises all over their bodies, and they were later evacuated to a hospital for treatment after intervention from the paramount ruler of Abak. The police authorities have confirmed the incident and assured that the injured officers are receiving medical attention.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Waheed Ayilara, has directed a specialized investigation team to work with other security agencies to apprehend the wanted criminal and his accomplices responsible for the assault.

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