16 April 2013, Port Harcourt – The Nigerian Agip Oil Company has been accused of burning farmlands in Akala-Olu community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State in order to cover up evidence of its oil spill on their land.
Protesting villagers disrupted traffic at the Ahoada area of the East-West Road over the incident, claiming in doing that, the oil compny destroyed their farmlands.
A community leader, Nathan Alaga, from the affected Umu-Isogba extended family said a joint inspection of the spill facilitated by the Rivers State Ministry of Environment in March, had established that it was a repeat of 2002 overflow of Waste Pit and Hot Water seepage from nearby Ochie Flow Station operated by Agip.
According to him, ministry had recommended negotiations between the company and the affected landowners to determine compensation for the damaged farmlands, fish ponds and ancestral shrines in the affected area before cleanup and remediation were carried out.
He alleged: “Without meeting with us, Agip came March 13, and said they want to clean up the spill and the family opposed the action. There and then, Agip officials set the spill site on fire and burnt the entire area.”