*Urges security agencies to find alternatives
12 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has attributed the hydrocarbon soot damaging the state’s environment to the process of destroying illegal refineries by security agencies.
The Governor has also called on security agencies to find alternative ways of destroying illegal refineries, without damaging the environment.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike explained that the State Government has formally approached the Federal government to help in resolving the challenge, but to no avail.
He added that the Committee on soot, set up by the State Government, has taken steps to check the indiscriminate burning of tyres and other means of air pollution in the state, regretting that the major challenge was the manner the Security Agencies destroy illegal refineries.
According to the Governor, “We set up a technical committee to investigate the black soot problem. The committee’s report indicated that the black 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 control 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. We have prioritised this issue, but we cannot stop the security agencies. There must be a refined way of stopped the oil criminals, without damaging the environment.”
Governor Wike further said that politics must be separated from governance in respect to issues that affect the people.
“We should separate politics from governance. This issue of environmental challenge posed by the black 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,” the Governor said.