The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in his New Year message released by his spokesman, Kelvin Ebiri, directed the council chairmen and community leaders to report those behind illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities to be prosecuted.
According to Governor Wike, the move has become important to combat the menace faced by soot pollution, which has continued to endanger public health and despite calling on the Federal Government to intervene, nothing has been done.
“Since the federal security agencies have largely refused to stop the illegal crude oil refining activities in the state, we have no option than to take necessary measures to tackle this particular and direct challenge to our collective health and survival by ourselves.”
he urged all local government chairmen to work hand in hand with community leaders to locate and identify those behind all illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities. He also reiterated his administration’s commitment to making sure that Rivers State is safer than it was in previous years.
Governor Wike said the state government had identified and destroyed most of the shanties that served as safe havens and hideouts for criminals. “To consolidate on the gains of the dislodgement and dislocation exercises and make the state even safer and more secure, we have decided to demolish all shanties and makeshift structures in identified crime hotspots in Port Harcourt Township and the Illabuchi area of Diobu from the second week of January 2022.”