Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has reiterated his call on youths of the state to desist from polluting the environment through the illegal refining of petroleum products.
He made the call at the weekend while speaking at the open-air funeral service held in honour of late Elder Dick Akpolo, at Odi, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
The Bayelsa Chief Executive lamented that illegal oil refining was compounding the age-long problem of environmental pollution and degradation caused by the seismic and exploration activities of the multinational oil companies operating in Niger Delta.
Represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Diri noted that the unwholesome refining of crude oil is a major contributing factor to the dramatic changes in the weather pattern being noticed in the region.
He described illegal refining as an act of environmental terrorism, noting that the youths involved in it were not only endangering their own lives, but also killing innocent people in installments.
He also cautioned them to steer clear from cultism and other criminal activities tarnishing the good image of the state and embrace the various programmes government is putting in place to better their lot.
Commenting on the life and legacies of Pa Dick Akpolo, Governor Diri remarked that the departed octogenarian lived a life worthy of emulation regardless of the difficult circumstances he experienced.
According to Senator Diri, Pa Akpolo had left a positive legacy behind by raising good and responsible children because he was focused and determined to make a distinction while he lived.
While condoling with the Government House Accountant, Mr Roland Akpolo, the entire Akpolo Family and Odi Community, Governor Diri prayed God to grant the soul of Pa Akpolo eternal rest.
His words: “Our youths must emulate the lifestyle of Pa Akpolo. He didn’t allow his environment and the circumstances of his birth to weigh him down to become an ingrate to God. He took to the worship of God and continue to soldier on.
“So, don’t say I have nobody to train me that is why I join secret cult or I’m vandalizing pipelines or I’m taking to crime. If you read his biography, you will agree with me that he walked through the road of hardship.
“There is really nothing you are passing through today, that people had not passed through before. So, I want to use this opportunity to encourage, especially our youth, to desist from these acts of criminality.
“Our environment has already been polluted by the oil companies. We are suffering from that degradation. But now, you are adding to it by doing illegal refining. What you are doing is worse than what the oil companies are doing. You are killing all of us in installments.”
In his sermon, the State Pastor of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Obi Omeasiagbo, eulogized Pa Akpolo as a great man who was loved by many because of his peaceful disposition.
The clergyman explained that life was beyond the physical, noting that man is a spirit and where one would spend eternity was a vital question every living person should seriously ponder over.
Pastor Omeasiagbo pointed out that because the late Pa Akpolo walked into his destiny in Christ, his departure had become a celebration of life, and called on Christians to jealously guard their faith.