An environmental sociologist, Dr Steve Wordu has listed measures towards addressing the twin vices of pipeline vandalisation and illegal bunkering in Rivers State, which are destructive to the ecosystem.
Dr Wordu said to effectively tackle the persistent economic crimes, there was need for the application of technological devices such as alarm detectors to foil the antics of the pipeline vandals and bunkers. He said the prime position of the state as the repository of petroleum resources demanded that government go beyond the conventional approach of using only security operatives which is subject to sabotage.
According to him, it was obvious that security operatives detailed to protect oil pipelines often collaborate with the vandals to get a share of the proceed.
Dr Wordu, a senior lecture in the Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, further advocated the active involvement of community members in policing the facilities.
He said communities where oil pipelines are located should be empowered through functional committees to exert vigilance and report any suspected moves to the appropriate authorities.
By so doing, he said, the communities make it a point of duty to protect the pipelines.
He also called for massive campaigns especially at community levels on the dangers of the act, stressing that many lives had been lost in the process of vandalizing oil pipelines.
Dr Wordu also called for the creation of job opportunities for youths in the state as a panacea for crimes.