By Jimitota Onoyume
WARRI—Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has threatened to shut down Forcados oil terminal if Mobil fails to comply with a Federal High Court judgment to pay N1.430 billion to Odimido federated communities and Forcados for a major oil spill in 1998.
National president of the body, Mr Eric Omare, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Warri, Delta State, said the spill triggered off major health issues in communities in the area, adding that several lives were lost to health challenges.
Omare said shutting down the oil terminal could lead to another round of economic recession in the country.
It will be recalled that Justice Shitu Abubakar of a Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, had in his judgment in the suit, FHC/WR/CS/33/20 last, week ordered Mobil to pay the sum N1.430 billion as compensation to the spill devastated communities.
The IYC president said that the various communities were tired of going through a long drawn court process, pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari to order the oil company to pay the compensation for peace to reign in the region.
“For 17 years, the communities went through court processes and for 20 years, they have suffered the effects of pollution. Their major sources of drinking water were polluted. The Federal Government should order immediate compliance with the court judgment failure of which we will be forced to shut down Forcadus Terminal,” he said.
Omare commended the people of Forcados communities for adhering to the rule of law, pleading that they should not be pushed to the wall or be made to resort to self help.
Counsel to Odimodi federated communities, Perebibo Fufeyen, also said most of those that instituted the case against the oil giant on behalf of the community had died from the massive pollution of their river, which serve as the only source of drinking water in the areas.
He urged the Federal Government to prevail on the oil giant to pay the compensation.