TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the soot damaging the state’s environment is mainly caused by security agencies destroying illegal refineries.
Governor Wike stated that the State Government has formally approached the Federal Government to help resolve the challenge, without any assistance.
Speaking yesterday, during a special appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that security agencies must find alternative ways of destroying illegal refineries.
He said: “We set up a technical committee to investigate the soot problem. The committee’s report indicated that the soot was largely a product of the destruction of illegal refineries by security agencies.
“It is not within the purview of the state government to take control, but the security agencies. Therefore, we met with them and appealed that they find alternative ways to destroy the illegal refineries. We also appealed to the Federal Government to intervene, but so far, they are yet to do anything”.
The governor added: “We have prioritised this issue, but we cannot stop the security agencies. There must be a refined way to stop the oil criminals, without damaging the environment “.
He said that politics must be separated from governance in respect of issues that affect the people. “We should separate politics from governance. This issue of environmental challenge posed by the soot requires the direct intervention of the Federal Government.
“We are working with all major stakeholders to address this challenge. We are working with international oil companies to provide needed solutions. The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency intervene, because the solution is within her purview “, Governor Wike said.
The governor explained that the State Government’s Committee has taken the fundamental steps of checking the indiscriminate burning of tyres, but the major challenge is the manner the security agencies destroy illegal refineries.