Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, says uncontrolled destruction of illegal refineries is partly responsible of the soot deposits in the state.
Soot is a black substance that is produced when coal, wood or any item is burnt.
According to Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike’s media aide, the governor said this during the courtesy visit by Enobong Udoh, general officer commanding the sixth division of the Nigeria Army to the government house, Port Harcourt.
Wike said the methods currently adopted by security agencies in destroying illegal refineries were harmful to the environment.
He said while it was necessary to stop illegal refineries from operating, such actions must not expose the people to extensive and prolonged danger.
“The outcome of the uncontrolled destruction of illegal refineries without precautionary measures forms part of the reasons why the state is suffering from black soot,” he said.
“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 in the manner they destroy illegal refineries.”
He said his administration would continue to take steps to protect the state’s environment.
He added that the health of Rivers people depended on the environment; hence the state government would work with all stakeholders to stop the soot.
On his part, Udoh assured the governor that he would continue to work professionally to ensure that the people benefit from the presence of the division in the state.