Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has broken silence on the $1 billion approved to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the National Economic Council (NEC) for fighting insurgency in the North East.
Wike said while he would not condemn the release of $1 billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges in the Niger Delta far outweighed the Boko Haram conflict.
The governor stated this at the annual general meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers) held during the weekend in Port Harcourt.
He declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta.
Wike also requested the APC federal government to release the derivation component of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to the oil producing states of the Niger Delta.
He said: “Niger Delta environmental problems are as serious as the Boko Haram insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram.
“If you can get funds from the national pool to tackle Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get funds to fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities.”