The Bayelsa State Government has set plans in motion to establish a task force to check illegal refineries activities to protect the environment.
The State Governor, Seriake Dickson made the remark in Yenagoa, the capital city of the southern Nigerian State during the celebration of this year’s World Environment Day.
Governor Dickson noted that his administration engaged the services of forensic experts to compile the effects of prolonged oil pollution on the environment and health of the people in the state.
Dickson described snippets of the forensic reports as “saddening and frightening”,stating that the report would be made public in due course.
According to the Governor, decades of oil pollution and gas flaring in the state and the Niger Delta region was responsible for rising cases of health hazards, with a negative effect on the life span of people.
The Governor said “I urge all of you people of goodwill to join the effort to protect the environment especially in the Niger Delta, which has been under severe, sustained and brutal attack by operators of illegal refineries”.
He said “they have not only invaded the land and expropriated their properties but are now threatening to exterminate the people. A lot of actions would be taken and we will mobilize local and international opinions and the State Assembly on this”.
Governor Dickson said that there was no justification for illegal refinery, stressing “these only further degrade and pollute the already compromised environment as well as destroy lives”.
While reflecting on the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, he assured of the State Government’s commitment to invest in reducing the use of plastic products.