By Emma Amaize
WARRI — EIGHTY oil producing communities in Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State, yesterday, alleged that Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, SNPECo, fabricated the result of samples of oil, soil and surface water collected from a few communities impacted by 2011 Bonga crude oil spillage.
The communities made the accusation at a meeting in Warri with the zonal coordinator, Central zone, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Akin Akinyosoyo, and officials of the Nigerian Naval Service, NNS Delta, to drum home their grievances against Shell, Nigeria.
National leader/coordinator of the affected communities, Mr. F. A. Monday, said Shell denied responsibility for the controversial spill that damaged the ecology and means of livelihood of the people, whereas investigations showed that the company was inciting the communities against NIMASA and other government agencies.
He said information received by the communities was to the effect that because of the renewed agitation by the communities, Shell recently requested “security agents and gun boats to force themselves into our communities for the purpose of sample collection to falsify another result with respect to the said crude oil spillage.
“We discovered that Shell merely invited some government officials to observe soil, surface water and oil samples collected in few villages in Bayelsa State and Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and these villages are outside our areas in 2011.
“It is our submission that SNPECo only tried to doctor the facts by embarking on a kangaroo samples collection and thereafter, presented suspected falsified result of same to some government agencies. Also, it was inciting us against government authorities that participated in observing the said samples collection and SNPECo’s actions was a calculated attempt to pervert justice, misinform, mislead and equivocate the Bonga oil spillage incident.”