By Kote Obe, Port Harcourt
Rivers Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has praised the Rivers State Government for mustering the political will to end the soot menace in the state.
The council also commended the 23 local government chairmen in the state for the implementation of the state government’s directives on the fight against illegal refinery operations.
In a statement signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, the council noted that the state government’s effort to end soot is beginning to yield the desired result as the menace that usually leaves dark spots in the environment in Port Harcourt and its suburbs is gradually disappearing.
The NUJ which admired the courage exhibited by the state government to confront those involved in illegal refineries and oil bunkering, assured its readiness to collaborate with the state government in its efforts to make the environment clean, healthy, and habitable.
According to the statement, “the fight against soot in Rivers State is for the interest of all. We shall encourage our members to expose those causing the menace and also provide wider coverage to the government’s efforts at giving the citizenry a clean, healthy, and habitable environment.
“We also appreciate the efforts of the local governments whose task force against illegal oil bunkering have successfully knocked down many illegal refineries and also uncovered artisanal Kpo-fire sites in various local government areas in the state.
“These efforts by these council chairmen have helped to reduce the soot in the state and enable people to breathe in fresh air”.
The statement appealed to both the state government and the local government councils not to relent in their efforts to wipe out soot completely in the state.
NUJ also urged all media houses in the state to assist the state government in the fight against soot by exposing in their reportage those things that endanger lives and the environment as well as give wider publicity to efforts made by the government to nip the menace in the bud.