Gov. Wike was clear on the soot issue and enumerated what the Rivers State Government has done since the first reports of soot broke.

1. The Rivers State Government set up a task force on Soot to find its cause and determine its solution.

2. According to the Governor, based on the findings of the Rivers State Task Force on Soot, Soot is caused by the approach of the military in destroying operational sites of criminals stealing and illegally refining crude in the Creek.

3. Gov. Wike said has engaged the FG through internal communication channels to adopt a better and environmentally friendly approach in destroying illegal refinery sites being operated by criminals in the creek. 

4. According to Gov. Wike, the FG says until it finds better ways of doing so, it would continue to use its current approach to combat the illegal activities of oil thieves. This is in spite of the fact that the State Government has raised complains that it endangers the health and environment of Rivers State.

5. The security agencies whose approaches are responsible for the prevalence of soot are solely controlled by the Federal Government. But the Federal Government on whose footsteps the buck stops has remained unyielding.

6. Gov. Wike condemned the politicization of environmental issues and decried the Federal Government’s insensitivity and inaction regarding the State’s outcry on Soot.

7. The Rivers State Government has also interfaced  with the International Oil majors on meaningful ways to end the soot in Rivers State.

Written by Kabari J Barivule