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July 10, 2024

Bayelsa community cries out over massive oil spill from Agip facility

FUPRE VC lauds FG on commercialisation of Gas Project

By Samuel Oyadongha

Residents of Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have cried out over a massive crude oil spill from a facility operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in the area.

The leak, according to the aggrieved community folks,  occured about two months ago, following a rupture they blamed on equipment failure, along Ogboinbiri/Tebidada pipeline.

Leaders of the community,  Azeke Akpowari,  Ebimobowei Ipkesiware and Assistant Secretary General, Amos Oweifighe, in a letter to the Bayelsa State Government called for urgent intervention to stop the oil spill.

They stated in the letter addressed to the deputy governor: “We wish to register our utter displeasure and intimate you of the inaction of NAOC to the oil spillage that occured in a pipeline operated by the company, at Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa State.

“The spillage occured two months ago along Ogboinbiri/Tebitada pipeline when the pipeline ruptured, which has been attributed to equipment failure.

“As a result, for two months, crude oil has been gushing out from the pipeline, thereby devastating a large swath of farm lands, ponds, economic trees and lakes in the forest.

“It will be difficult to quantify the damage wrecked on the people’s livelihood and the environment, because of the huge quantities of crude oil spilled.

“It will be pertinent to note that Biedinobou, where the equipment failure occured, is a major farming and fishing hub of the community. Hundred of thousands of barrels of crude oil have been spilled since sometime in May this year when the pipeline ruptured, thereby turning farm lands, lakes and ponds into rivers of crude oil.

“Consequently, collateral damage has been done to farms, economic trees, ponds and lakes, which are the mainstay of the people in Biedinobou forest for the past two months since the pipeline began to seep crude oil to the environment. We are in a rainy season, it’s aiding the fast spread of the spill to distance areas and rivers.

“Agip has been informed of the ugly incident, however, till date, it has not made any attempt to contain the spillage from further polluting and degrading the environment.

“Sir, we cannot comprehend why Agip has allowed the spill to continue to destroy the environment, given the negative implications of the pollution on the people’s health, livelihood, animals , aquatic life and the general environment.

“The refusal of Agip to contain the spill has shown its crass disregard to the plight of the people and the environment. In light of the above, we urge you to wade into the matter and we demand the followings: Agip should mobilize to site immediately and contain the spill clean up and rehabilitate the environment.

“Send relief materials and pay adequate compensation to the community to ameliorate their suffering. We hereby attach photocopies of the spill for your perusal.”