AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Ill-gotten wealth from oil bunkering could be used to destabilize", said the Bishop of Umuahia

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Ill-gotten wealth from the theft of the country’s crude oil and its illegal refining could be used to destabilize the country. This is the alarm launched by Bishop Lucius Ugorji, Bishop of Umuahia. The Bishop gave the warning in his keynote address to participants at the one-day Interactive Meeting of Stakeholders of the Niger Delta region.
The Bishop posed several questions on the worrisome aspects of the illegal activities being carried out in the country’s oil-rich region - Expressing concern at the aftermath of illegal oil business activities in the region, Bishop Ugorji declared: “From all indications, a lot of money is being made and laundered by many individuals and groups and many others are having their palms well greased by proceeds from the trade.” - He continued: “ .. . what guarantees that these individuals and groups in desiring to maximize their access to crude oil resources or even have exclusive control over them will not turn around and use their ill-gotten gains to wage war against hapless Nigerians or the State?”
The local ordinary of Umuahia Diocese added: “Furthermore, how can we prevent this massive looting from becoming a factor in the electioneering process, or be used to fund violence during elections. There are many more questions of this kind that can be raised on the matter of oil theft.” The Bishop further remarked that the already polluted waters of the Niger Delta creeks are further aggravated by toxic wastes from these local artisans adding:”All these pose a great threat to the eco-system and to the welfare of present and future generations in the Niger Delta and beyond.”
(L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/08/2014)