By Oladipupo Mojeed
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has appealed to the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to adopt more refined ways of destroying illegal refineries in the state.
During the courtesy visit by General Officer Commanding the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Udoh to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday, Governor Wike said that the methods currently adopted by security agencies in destroying illegal refineries were harmful to the environment.
He noted that while it was necessary to stop the illegal refineries from operating, such actions must not expose the people to extensive and prolonged danger.
Rivers suffering from black soot
According to him, the outcome of the uncontrolled destruction of illegal refineries without precautionary measures has led to the issue of black soot seen around the state.
“The present mode of destroying illegal refineries is negatively affecting our environment. Everywhere across the state you see black soot deposited on surfaces of buildings, cars and other structures.
“The state government is working hard to resolve this environmental challenge, but we need the cooperation of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies on the manner they destroy illegal refineries”, the governor explained.
Wike stressed that his administration will continue to take steps to protect the state environment.
He noted that the health of Rivers people depended on the environment, hence the state government would work with all stakeholders to stop the soot.
The GOC, Major General Enobong Udoh assured the governor and Rivers people that he would continue to work professionally to ensure that the people benefited from the presence of the division in the state.