The Moment (London)

26 December 2011

Nigeria: Bonga Oil Spill - We're Set for Rough Deal With Shell - Community

Photo: Vanguard.
An oil spill in Ogoniland (file photo).

THE Odioma community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has threatened that Shell Company limited would have a rough deal with the people in the area if it fails to stop the spill of crude oil in Bonga oil field.

An environmental rights activist, Morris Alagwa, said series of meetings are going on how the community should tackle the problem, in case the oil company involved still proves lackadaisical to its problem.

'If the oil company fails to clear up the mess, members of the community would not take it lightly with it.

The oil spill has caused a lot of damages in the lives of the people of the area and necessary action should be taken to ensure that such occurrence does not happen again.

In the same vein, Chairman, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Frank Okputu, in Bayelsa, said 'the residents are already counting their losses because their streams and farmlands have been affected.

And the major occupation there is fishing and if this only source of their livelihood is destroyed by the oil spill they wonder how they will survive.

According to Alagwa, the people in the community have to resort to self-help after appeal to both Federal and state government failed to yield any fruit.

He said immediately the oil spill at Bonga oil field started, Odioma community sent Save Our Soul (SOS) to international agencies on the huge damage the spill was causing aquaculture but succor was not forthcoming.

Also speaking to our reporter, a Niger Delta activist, Nengi James noted 'it is an injustice and a shame on the Nigerian government not to visit the site of the Bonga oil spill.'

He said the none intervention of the government agencies is an indication of conspiracy of the Shell Company against the people of Niger Delta.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria and the Off-Shore Oil and Gas Host Communities Youth Development Association (OGHYDA) however, blamed Shell Company for the spill.

According to a statement signed by Matthew Ebi Oreiware and Torke Eketun and made available to The Moment, the spill has caused unbearable havoc to the people in the coastal communities.

'It is clear that major oil companies are behind the plot to frustrate the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan to reform the petroleum industry through the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

'We therefore give Shell seven days within which to give a detailed account of what caused the spill and the extent of damage to the marine environment and the compensation for commercial fishermen and other economic dependents of the coastal region,' the statement demanded.

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InFocus

Nigeria: U.S. Offers Help in Cleaning Oil Spill

An oil spill in Ogoniland (file photo).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has offered its assistance in cleaning up the recent Shell oil spill. Read more »