By Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH—THE people of Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, have alleged that Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, connived with soldiers to renege on agreements it reached with the community to discontinue its operations in the community impacted by the recent oil spillage pending the resolution of ‘the grey issues.”
The company’s pipeline had ruptured in the community on September 7, with the resultant oil spillage causing a fire outbreak in the area.
Speaking with newsmen on the development, President-General Oleh Community Development, Chief James Obeuwou, said that representatives of the company, the state Ministry of Environment, the local government and the community, had, after an assessment of the rupture, agreed that the affected area be cordoned off until a final agreement at a consultative forum.
“Sadly, Agip connived with the soldiers to continue with its operations in the area,” he said, noting that the spill which destroyed farmlands arising from the fire outbreak, was “caused by over pumping of crude oil as a result of error in their machines.”
Saying that the fire broke out about 3a.m., Obeuwou added: “A glow lit the sky as if a volcano had erupted in a distance. There was a sound like high pressure water fall almost like a siren. People living around the area started running for their lives because it was frightening. It was like the world was coming to an end. We have never witnessed anything like this in the community.”
Meanwhile, the council Chairman, Sir Ithiak Ikpokpo, urged the company to put its equipment in good shape, adding, “They cannot run their business at our detriment.”