Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on those planning to demonstrate against the presence of soot to channel their protest to the Federal Government.
He said the Federal Government is strictly responsible for the degradation and pollution of the Rivers environment.
Speaking in Government House Port Harcourt on Monday during the inauguration of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, Governor Wike urged the stop the campaigners to demonstrate against the Federal Government in the interest of justice.
He said that the Rivers State Government has done all that it is suppose to do, including advocacy and enlightenment campaigns, with no action from the Federal Government.
The governor said: “I hear that people want to demonstrate that there is soot in the state. Help us demonstrate against the Federal Government and we will all be happy.
“This is because we have no control over the sources of soot. Do I go to shutdown the Refinery? Will they not say that it is economic sabotage?
“Do I even have the security? Do I control the Police or the Army to go and stop oil production at the refinery?”
Governor Wike added that the State Government cannot stop the Nigerian Navy from destroying illegal refineries in ways that release dangerous substances to pollute the environment. He said all entreaties have fallen on deaf ears.
He said nobody is happy about the presence of soot in the state as its effect is non discriminatory.
The governor said it is necessary to properly situate those with the responsibility of stopping the soot, rather than protesting for the sake of creating social tension.
He assured the people of Rivers State that the administration will continue to prevail on the security agencies and regulatory institutions to take the right step to stop the soot.