Wike faults security agencies over destruction of illegal refineries
L-R: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Chamberlain Usoh, Maope Ogun-Yusuf and Gimba Umar, during the visit of Channels Television Sunrise Daily at the Government House Port Harcourt, recently.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said that the black soot damaging the state's environment was mainly caused by method of destroying illegal refineries by the federal security agencies.
Wike also disclosed that the Rivers State government has formally approached the Federal Government to help resolve the challenge, without any assistance from that quarter.
The governor spoke during a special appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily at the Government House Port Harcourt at the weekend.
The governor, however, tasked security agencies to find alternative ways of destroying illegal refineries.
He said: "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".
The governor added: "We have prioritised this issue, but we cannot stop the security agencies. There must be a refined way of stopping 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 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 ", Wike said.
The governor explained that the Rivers 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.