Bonga oil spill spreading to more communities – Group

Emma Amaize

28 December 2011, Sweetcrude, WARRI – A group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change, yesterday, claimed that the recent oil leak from the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo- operated Bonga oil field was spreading fast to shorelines of more communities in the oil-rich Niger-Delta, notwithstanding the claim by the company that the oil spillage has been brought under control.

In a press statement signed by its president, secretary and spokesman, Nelly Emma, John Sailor and Mukoro Stanley, it described the Bonga oil spillage as the worst ever in the region in more than a decade and said it must be treated with all seriousness by Shell or the company should be ready for rougher days ahead.

“We are saddened by the Bonga oil spillage, this is the worst ever in more than a decade in the region and we are warning Shell not to treat it with kid gloves. Shell must take practical steps to clean up the Bonga Oil Spillage. Shell should take up responsibility and take steps to do something about the damage caused by the spill to fishermen and farmers.”

“We are already mobilizing reputable environmentalists, human right activists and media groups across the globe to come down to the Niger Delta region and join forces with us to monitor the clean up exercise of the Bonga oil spillage that is spreading fast to various shorelines in the region.”

“We are determined to see that a proper probe panel is put in place to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the Bonga oil spillage. Right now, many of our people affected by the spillage are facing serious starvation and this is one spillage that Shell cannot treat like that in Ogoni land. We are not satisfied with Shell claims that the Bonga oil spillage has been brought under control.

“We are deeply worried by the amount of the spillage and we will stop at nothing to see that the Bonga oil spillage comparable to that of the BP Gulf of Mexico of last year is treated with the desired seriousness.

“ It is the job of the Federal Government to let the world know what is happening to our people as far as the Bonga oil spill is concerned; how many people livelihood has been affected by the spill because we are talking of over four million gallons of crude oil spilled into the region,” they stated.

The group urged the Nigerian Government and the international community to pay great attention to the Bonga oil spillage and “to mount pressure on Shell to double its efforts in containing the spill, otherwise we will make things to be tough and rough for the company in the days ahead”.

“It will take Shell 30 years to clean up the oil spill in Ogoni region and that is just a small part of the Niger Delta region and this is in addition to what they have already and it is not just limited to Bonga Oil Field, it is spreading to all parts of the Niger Delta region. This is pathetic and calls for urgent attention.”

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