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Oil spill: Communities/Shell face-off threatens Trans-Ramos pipeline repair

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By Egufe Yafugborhi

PORT HARCOURT— COMMUNITIES in Bayelsa State impacted by May 17 oil spillage from Shell Petroleum Development Company’s, SPDC, Trans-Ramos Pipeline have vowed to disrupt repairs on the key asset over perceived biased Joint Investigation Visit, JIV.

However, Bamidele Odugbean, in a Shell feedback, said it would be hasty and unfair for any party to question the JIV process that was yet to be concluded, adding that the issues with relief materials would be looked into.

The representatives of the communities, which raised the concern, are Arthur Bendiwei, Egburu Dehmeon Wuka, Eric Paka and Moses for Agge; Egboru Asubor, Bunky England and Martins Tuduo, for Ekogbene and Monday Etoige  and Oborowei Fred, for Kandaghan.

In a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the communities including Agge, Kandaghan and Ekogbene alleged a conspiracy by Shell and regulators, particularly National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, to deliberately delay release of logistics to carry out the JIV on the said spill.

“This so-called JIV, which for all intents and purpose was to ascertain cause, volume and extent of the spill and delineation of impacted communities, has remained inconclusive because SPDC is the one determining communities impacted by her own oil spillage.”

Shell spokesperson, Odugbean, in response said: “We all know JIV is a process involving regulators, government, operators, the communities and others who would all sign off the outcome in a final report.

“It will not be right to raise allegations when the process had not been completed. It is the report of findings signed off by all the parties that will determine the genuineness of allegations and provide resolutions too. Complaints about distribution of relief materials will be looked into.”

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