Following the explosion that rocked an illegal refinery in Imo State, the Federal Government has concluded plans to comb nooks and crannies for others operating without approval and shut them down across the country.
To ensure an effective clampdown of the operators, the government has ordered the armed forces, security, and intelligence agencies to intensify search and close them immediately.
The directives to go after the illegal refinery operators were announced by President Muhammadu Buhari after the explosion at the refining site in Abaezi forest, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government, resulted in the death of about 100 people.
Two days after the tragic incident, Buhari described the explosion as a catastrophe and a national disaster that must be avoided going forward.
In a statement issued on Sunday by his media aide, Garba Shehu, the president stated that the responsibility for the loss of lives and property must squarely lie with the sponsors of the illegal refinery.
According to him, the owners and operators of the facilities across the country must all be caught and made to face justice as stipulated by the 1999 constitution.
While commiserating with families of the deceased, he urged community leaders, the police, and the secret service to never allow the occurrence of the heart-breaking incident in any part of the country again.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, stressed that running an illegal refinery in the area amounted to economic sabotage to the state and the nation and a criminal act that all should desist from.
The governor warned those still in the business of running illegal refineries in the state to stop forthwith or face the wrath of the law.