We all breathe the same air irrespective of political party, religion, sex and age. RSG supports any genuine campaign to stop the soot no matter who is involved, provided it is not politicised. The organisers of any such campaign must demonstrate knowledge as to the causes and efforts made by the various MDAs at all levels to solve the problem. We must tackle the causes and effects with commitment.
Therefore the message should be punchy, direct and nothing to beat about the bush. The campaign message I read yesterday is sentimental and begging the question. It seems to say little about the part the FGN needs to play to save all of us in Rivers State. RSG has done its bit to stop the causes of soot and the FGN needs to do theirs. We had set up a committee, collated data, recharged the Ministry of Environment, seized used tires to avoid burning and extration of copper wires. We had closed asphalt plants that emitted dangerous thick smoke. We have engaged the Nigerian security agencies and informed them of the need to change style in destroying the smoky and lucrative illegal refineries.
The Port Harcourt refinery is emiting much harm too but its a Fed. asset. The organisers of the campaign need to focus on these and many other causes and stay far away from politics as they are struggling to do. What of the oil majors? Are they free from blame? Until we have free air to breathe, nobody is safe. Let the campaign continue.
Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communication