By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOAâ€”A group , Environmental Rights Action, ERA,Â yesterday expressed concern over the rising spate of oil spills from facilities owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company around the Oruma area in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The group called on the oil major to repair its damaged pipelines to avoid explosions and activities of oil thieves in the area.
According to the group, a fresh spill was noticed in the area, first week of May,Â suspected to have been caused by the activities of the oil thieves.
The ERA team led by its Field Coordinator in the state, Mr Morris Alagoa, during a visit to the paramount ruler ofÂ Oruma community, Pere W. Amakiri, the Community Youth President, Alali Efenga, learnt that the spillage, which occurred along the Agip Ogboinbiri/Ogoda pipeline routes in the area, has spread into farmland and rivers in the community.
Mr Alagoa said though the signs of illegal bunkering activities were noticed at the spill site with tracks of heavy trucks, the quick clean_up by the Agip Company will do much good to the environment as the crude is yet to spread wide.
ERA also task Agip and other oil companies in the area to always take the issue of oil spills seriously and be proactive.
â€œAgip should respect the JIV report and mobilise to carry out proper cleanup of the impacted site. The issue of illegal oil bunkering in the area should be investigated and Agip should not only engage surveillance contractors from the immediate community, but ensure visibility along its pipelines in the environment. It is the responsibility of Agip to clear the grasses along its pipeline,â€ the group said.
In his submission, the paramount ruler of the Community, Pere Amakiri expressed concern over the oil leakage and asked the oil company and other security agencies to search out those involved in the illegal bunkering that might have caused the spill.