Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed that illegal refineries operators would be treated worse than terrorists.
The Governor blamed them for causing great health hazard to residents in the state and destroying the national economy.
Wike made the statement when he received the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Friday at Government House in Port Harcourt.
He told Irabor the importance of the war against illegal crude oil refinery activities, saying the proceeds from the oil and gas sector sustained the country.
Wike said: “I have declared this fight as the war against terrorism. I will treat them (operators of illegal refineries) worse than Boko Haram, because they are stealing from our economy and killing our people.”
“You and I know that one product we have today that has kept this country going is oil and gas, which I will say is the main source of our revenue in this country today.
“And so, we must as a people, as a government, it doesn’t matter whichever faction you may be or whichever divide you may be, or you may find yourself. What is important you must defend any of our national assets.
“I will do anything within my powers to see that it is put to stop. I owe it as a duty, first by making sure that government is not losing revenue.
“Whenever we lose national revenue it trickles down. It affects us at the State and Local Government levels. So, that is on the revenue aspect of it.
”I am willing to fight it and will continue to fight it. Some people are trying to politicise it, that you are doing it against certain ethnic group. That can’t change me, it doesn’t matter.”
The Governor, in his meeting with traditional rulers and other stakeholders, warned that nobody indicted as operator of illegal refinery would escape the full wrath of the law.
He assured that his administration was ready to give the security agencies necessary logistics support in the war against the menace.