By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Calabar -A farmer and an indigene of Ekorinim Community, Mr. Bassey Okon, has petitioned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over alleged illegal bunkering activities allegedly perpetrated by security operatives posted to protect petroleum pipelines passing through the community in Calabar, Cross River State.
Okon, in the petition copied the National Assembly and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, in-charge of Zone Six, Calabar, also alleged that the illegal bunkering has led to oil spillage and destruction of farmlands in the area.
He also called on the Director of the State Security Services, Cross River State, Commissioner of Police, and the Cross River State House of Assembly to intervene.
According to him, the alleged oil spillage has destroyed his farmland and a house he was developing.
He said: “I am an indigene of Ekorinim community and I live in Calabar Municipality. I own a farmland measuring 100×100 close to the NNPC pipelines.
“I was constructing a living house for my family but had to stop as a result of the side effect of the illegal bunkering business perpetuated by the security men posted there by NNPC to protect the pipelines.
‘My family, community endangered’
“I want draw your attention to the suffering and hazards being brought upon me, my wife and six children by the illegal activities of these men.
“I am a subsistent farmer in the community. My family feeds from this farmland and I train my six children in secondary school from the meagre proceeds from this farmland. But now I cannot do so because of the spillage caused by the illegal bunkering activities that have destroyed my farmland, boreholes and stream.
Destroyed boreholes, streams
“Through community effort, we sank boreholes for our domestic use. We can no longer use water from the boreholes because of oil spillage, leaving us with untold hardship.
“The spillage has destroyed economic trees, crops and fishes in the stream thereby leaving us with nothing to fall back on for a living.
We’re not aware – Police
“My building had to stop because the chemicals injected into the water from the spillage do not allow the moulding of solid blocks and concrete mixing.”
However, Zone Six Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Ibrahim Tasiu, when contacted, Thursday, said he was not aware of any allegation of illegal bunkering and oil spillage. He promised to make enquiries on the matter.