Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, has accused Jamil Sarham, general officer commanding (GOC) 6th division of the Nigerian army, of running an oil theft ring in the state.
The governor made the accusation when officers of Operation DELTA SAFE, the joint task force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, visited him at the government house in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The governor accused Sarham of asking soldiers to damage oil infrastructure and steal petroleum products in the state to allegedly generate funds to aid his appointment as chief of army staff.
“The GOC has his own team now doing oil bunkering for him because he wants to be chief of army staff,” he said.
“If you give that kind of person chief of army staff, what kind of security would we have in this country? He cannot be removed here because they know the role he is playing for them: sabotaging our security architecture.”
Wike also accused the GOC of colluding with criminals and divulging sensitive information that has put the security of the state in jeopardy.
“We will have a security meeting and he will release the details to criminals, and the chief of army staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role,” he said.
“How will the security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? He will compromise when fighting to reduce crime. They sent us a GOC who destroyed the security architecture of the state.”
Wike and Sarham have not been in good terms since the major general’s appointment as GOC in August.
During the 2019 elections, the governor had accused the GOC and his cohorts of interfering in the electoral process with the intention of imposing a governor on Rivers.
The army chief had before then accused Wike of offering bribes to military officers, an allegation that the governor denied.