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Wike set to end soot in Rivers, orders shut down of all illegal crude oil refining sites

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Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the Governor of Rivers State, has directed the state’s 23 local government chairmen to work with community leaders to identify illegal crude oil refining sites and report them to his office for further action.Wike orders shut down of all illegal crude oil refining sites causing soot

Speaking during a state broadcast to mark the 2022 new year, the governor also urged Allwell Ihunda, the chairman of Port Harcourt City, to crack down on illegal oil refiners in his area, particularly along the creek road axis.

I have directed the Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Council to go after all the illegal crude oil refining sites along Creek road and adjourning areas of the city and shut them down with immediate effect. All Local Government Chairmen are directed to work with community leaders to locate and identify those behind all illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities and report to my office for further action,” Governor Wike said.

He stated that the state administration is concerned about the soot, which he claims is still posing health and environmental risks.

Let me also reiterate that we are as overly concerned as the public over the black soot environmental disaster that has continued to envelope Port Harcourt and upsetting residents for quite some time,” he said.

Despite urging for assistance to end the threat, he accused the federal government of doing little to help.

As a State Government, we have drawn the attention of the Federal Government to this problem and requested for its intervention to stop the activities of illegal bunkering and artisanal crude oil refiners, which have been identified as the main sources of the soot pandemic,” the governor said.

Wike also accused security forces of assisting illegal oil operations and hiding the perpetrators.

Unfortunately, the Federal Government has remained inexplicably silent over our request and even complicit to a large extent with the security agencies actively aiding, encouraging and protecting the artisanal refiners to continue with their harmful activities unabated,” Wike said.


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