…Oil thieves set spill site ablaze
…We didn’t invade community—Army
By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—AT least two persons have been killed in Kegbara-Dere Community, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, following two fresh oil spills in the area.
It was gathered that there was a spill from an oil facility owned by the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in B-Dere and Kpor communities of the same LGA.
It was also gathered that Shell had tried to access the site and repair the damage before the incident occurred.
However, the Chairman of Kegbara-Dere Town Council, Dornu Godswill, disclosed that one Nen-Elkpege Legbara and one other person lost their lives, while, Mr. Friday Komene and two others who sustained bullet injuries are receiving treatment.
Speaking, Godswill expressed worries that their community is under siege by military men, who allegedly invaded the area.
He said: “On April 18, 2019, I was returning from the hospital and I saw Shell vehicles parked at Kpor trunk line. I had to find out what the problem was. I was informed that there was an oil spill.
“I was worried that they did not inform the community. Immediately, I called on the president to stay with them.
“I later heard that some people obstructed their activities. They invited us to give them access to the spill site.”
Godswill noted that oil thieves had set the spill at Kpor ablaze, adding that three of the thieves died at the spot.
He, however, said the military that escorted Shell to the area attacked their community when the spills were not in their community.
“On the 18th of April, around 10 pm, we heard a sound and we later got information that the oil spill at Kpor was on fire. It was not our boys that did it. We only heard that some oil bunkerers that were cooking products around that area caused it.”
When contacted the spokesman of Shell, Mr. Michael Adande, said the firm would respond to the allegations raised against it at the appropriate time.
Army denies invading community
Meanwhile, the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, has denied reports that its men invaded K-Dere community, saying the boys in the area attacked the military personnel.
The spokesman of the Division, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday said: “The community was at no time invaded. The bad boys who set fire on the TNP and infracting the lines, attacked the SPDC technical crew by firing fiercely for more than three hours from the evil forest as they call it, which can only be accessed through the community from the direction the firing was coming from.’’