Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has stated that he will combat soot pollution in the state and guarantee that operators of illegal refineries are prosecuted.
Wike stated this on Thursday during a visit to the state’s Ogbodo community forest in Ikwerre LGA and Ibaa community forest in Emohua LGA to investigate illegal crude oil refining installations.
He stated that his administration will no longer accept the illegal act that has resulted in the death and disease of state inhabitants.
“They can’t be doing this and killing my people. No reasonable government will allow that. And I can tell you with all due respect that we will take this matter very seriously,” Wike said.
“Look at how every day in your house, you see soot. I mean, how can you allow that? So, this one that we can solve, we will solve it.
“We have assured the people of Rivers state that we will fight this matter to the last until I leave office.”
He stated that combating illicit activity will not be simple, but that his administration will treat it as a war and will use all legal means at its disposal.
He went on to warn that his government will not be swayed by public sentiment when prosecuting criminals, saying that no matter how powerful the perpetrators are, they will face the full force of the law.
Wike ordered the state’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Zacchaeus Adangor, to form a legal prosecution team and take over the case files of illicit crude oil refinery operators apprehended by the police.