Indigenes of Opu-Nembe and the various communities currently been devastated by continious oil and gas spillage from the blow out from the OML 29 well head 1, operated by an indigenous oil company, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Ltd, yesterday protested over the inability of the company or government to stop the spill 31days after.
The protesting communities led by Nembe Se Congress (NSC) made of eminent personalities and chiefs from Nembe, stormed the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press center with placards, calling on the oil company and relevant authorities to end the oil and gas spill as the people in over 41 communities may soon become refuges in their own state.
Addressing the press, the President of NSC, Prof. Monday Godwin-Egein, said the group was deeply concerned that over a month since the incident at Worikumakiri, the Oml 29 blowout is still spewing out crude oil and gas onto the rivers and creeks as well as the environment unabated.
He said, “This is arguably the biggest oil spill disaster in the history of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Nigeria. Unfortunately, there appears to be no immediate respite in sight for our people as the affected company, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Ltd, does mot have the capability or necessary assets to contain thr situation. Thus. dangerous hydrocarbon fluid are gushing out from the well head at am unprecedented rate.
“Reports so far show that over 2, 000, 000 million barrels of crude oil and gas has already spilled onto the river, and have spread through the interwoven network of rivers, creeks and tributaries all the was to the Atlantic ocean. In the process contaminating the ecosystem around Nene Se kingdom and communities in Nembe and Brass local government areas of the state.”
The congress seized the opportunity to advice the people still living at the various fishing and settlements around the spill site to immediately relocate to a more safer location in view of the health implications.
They demanded among other things that relevant government agencies compel Aiteo to ensure quick capping of the spill and begin comprehensive clean up operations expeditiously in compliance with global best practices.
“The Federal Government should ensure that the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) takes place place as soon as possible and the outcome made public.
May we use this medium to advice all interested parties in this matter to stop playing politics with the lives of our people and our environment, all of which are currently under serious threat”, Prof. Godwin-Egein warned.