The Governor of Rivers State has resolved to tackle the menace of illegal artisanal refineries which has led to a soot epidemic across the state.
Wike made this call on Thursday during a raid on Kpofire sites in forests of Ogbodo, Ikwerre LGA and Ibaa, Emohua LGA.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Governor was accompanied by the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday.
According to Wike, his administration would take the matter seriously while ensuring the prosecution of any person involved in the menace.
“They can’t be doing this and be killing my people. No reasonable government will allow that. And I can tell you with all due respect, we will take this matter very seriously.
“Look at how, everyday, in your house, you see the 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, we will fight this issue to the last until I leave office.”
The Governor also issued an edict to the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, to commence proceedings towards a fair prosecution.
“Attorney-General, all these matters with the police, you have to retrieve the files so that you can prosecute the matters on our own. I don’t want any compromise anywhere.
“And then too, it will not be in the ministry. You have to constitute a legal team. Go and get our friends all over the country, so that we can prosecute those cases.
“It is a serious matter. I’m going to take head on. It is a war. It is not poor people doing this, they’re a cartel. You must go and arrest these people; Chief W. J. Wocha, you must arrest Fubara Ohaka and Chief Promise Ezekwe. You must arrest them.
“It doesn’t matter how highly placed you are, be you a paramount ruler, in fact, any traditional ruler that is involved, pick him for me. Let him understand that the law does not respect anybody,” the Governor decreed.
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