By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—DISTURBED by the large scale environmental degradation in Bayelsa State, the group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoEN, has called on communities in the state to tow the path of dialogue and desist from vandalising pipelines in their bid to seek redress for oil related matters.
ERA/FoEN’s Head of Legal Resources Department, Mr. Chima Williams, made the appeal at an environmental parliament with representatives of oil bearing communities held in Yenagoa.
He noted that resorting to destruction of oil facilities in their agitation for redress for oil pollution was counterproductive as it leads to further destruction of the already fragile environment.
According to him, pipeline vandalism was criminal and illegal and attracts no compensation to the communities whose environment and livelihood were adversely affected.
Williams, however, assured that the group would offer legal assistance to communities that suffered from oil pollution incidents that were not traceable to sabotage.
He cited Ikebiri community in Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa, which the group is currently assisting to get redress for the 2010 oil leak from oilfields operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.