25 August 2015, Yenagoa – Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Government has said that investigation into last month crude oil pipeline explosion that killed 14 persons at the Agip oil field in Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state was underway.
Among those who lost their lives in the tragic explosion were 12 maintenance crew members, one official each from Bayelsa Ministry of Environment and National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Iniruo Wills, in Yenagoa, said that the government was committed to an exhaustive investigation into the incident.
He said: “The Bayelsa Ministry of Environment, oil industry regulators and the police are working closely to unravel the cause of the explosion,” adding that the report of the investigation will be made public and provide a basis for actions to forestall its reoccurrence.
“The governor had made clear commitments to ensure that there is full accountability in this matter and there will be comprehensive investigations, and there is no reason to think that neither the state government nor indeed the governor will back down on that.
“Investigations are going on, there are further measures and processes that will still come up, it is not going to be an overnight thing, investigations are already going on. But the scale and manner in which this disaster happened is such that it throws up a number of dimensions and a number of possibilities as to not just investigations but sanctions and so on can be explored.
“So while investigations are going on, there are still other measures that government is considering. Do not be surprised that by tomorrow or next week, we call you and announce that there is a new step or measure or sanction or whatever measure else it is that is undertaken to ensure that there is full accountability.
“But one thing I can assure you is that this is not a matter that that can go away just like that, the state government is fully and the governor himself is fully committed to ensuring that the right thing is done.
“And we will expect that all parties, all stakeholders all concerned would also play their part.”
The tragic explosion, he said, elicited the concern of federal government, several interest groups including local and foreign civil society groups and rights groups and as such could not be swept under the carpet.
He explained that Bayelsa government has unveiled a policy christened “Lives before oil” to ensure safety of human lives in oil field operations within the state as one of its immediate response.