This Day (Lagos)

15 July 2014

Nigeria: N' Delta Delegates Hint on Plan to Shut Oil Production Over Earthquake Rumours

Delegates representing the Niger Delta region and other oil producing states at the ongoing National Conference monday disclosed the plan by the oil producing communities to shut down all the channels of oil production in the region over what they called signs of earthquake already threatening the region.

Also, as delegates are yet to reach consensus on the derivation clause, the conference has adjourned till 12 noon to enable the 50 'wise men', and 20 committee chairmen reach consensus on derivation.

One of the delegates representing the region, Chief Diepreye Alamieseigha, who spoke the minds of his colleagues when he called for point of information at the plenary early yesterday, told the conference that leaders of oil communities in the Niger Delta region visited him at the weekend and asked him to deliver the information to the conference leadership.

According to him, "Leadership of oil producing communities visited me at the weekend and asked me to convey this information to the management and the delegates of this conference that in the past 58 years, a minimum of 1.8 to 2 million barrels of crude oil have been extracted from their land on daily basis.

"The consequence is that they have started experiencing earth movements in their environment and there's fear that there might be earthquake or tsunami very soon in their land.

"In other clime, when this volume of oil is removed, liquid of same gravity is being injected to equalise or stabilise the geology of the area. In recent times, there was gas flaring of the coast of Balyesa State for over a month, the heat was so much that all the villagers were evacuated from the area, and for one month, the oil companies could not clamp the gas flaring.

"So, with the fear that they don't have the capacity to withstand any earthquake in that environment and that I should inform you that they may take the option, I repeat, they will take the option of shutting down production in that areas till concrete agreement or arrangements is made with the oil companies to warrant the stabilising the environment."

But in a quick reaction, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, who also moved a point of information, said the federal government has run into problems as United State of America, which was the major buyer of Nigerian crude oil has stop buying from Nigeria, saying US has gotten alternative to Nigerian oil, adding that "very soon, there will not be buyers of our oil again."

In his own remark, Bashorun Sheinde Arogbofa drew attention of the delegates to the daily killing of people in Ondo State where he hails from as a result of bad roads in the area which he said had claimed many lives.

He said the area urgently needed the attention of the conference, citing the terrible state of Iware oke-oka road as example, which he said on a daily basis, claims lives.

"Our prayer is that this conference will be kind in enough to call the attention of the federal government to this carnage," Arogbofa said.

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