Mkpoikana Udoma 16 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have visited the site of an oil spill from a Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, facility in Emago-Kugbo community of Abua/Odual Local Government Area of the state and sued for peace in the affected community.
The spill, which occurred on July 21, led to the death of two persons and left several other members of the community seriously injured. There was also severe damage to crops, farmland and the environment.Chairman of the House Committee on Oil Spill Issues, Hon. Isreal Lebura Ngbulelo, said the State Assembly embarked on the oversight function in order to ensure that the government protected and improved the environment and safeguarded the water, air, land, forest and wildlife in the state.SweetcrudeReports, however, gathered that the fact-finding mission of the House came after the people of Emago-Kugbo and their neighbouring communities in Abua/Odual Local council petitioned the House, asking for its action on the spill.Ngbulelo, whose committee is charged with the responsibility of thoroughly investigating the spillage, urged all oil companies operating in the state to comply with the provisions of section 20 of the amended 1999 constitution of Nigeria.In the same vein, the member representing Bonny Constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Abinye Blessing Pepple, while addressing newsmen shortly after the oversight inspection tour, disclosed that the House, together with the host community and Agip will have a tripartite discussion to reach a peaceful resolution on the oil spillage in the area.According to him, “The eight Assembly under the leadership of Hon. Ibani Ikunyi is committed to ensuring peaceful harmonisation between host communities and oil companies in the state.“The oil spill at Emago-Kugbo is a clear demonstration of the House of Assembly’s commitment to ensure that we don’t just sit down at the Assembly, but we go out to have a first class and first hand information of what actually transpired as well as what led to the spills.“By the special grace of God, the House will have a round-table discussion with the leaderships of the community and the management of Agip to reach a peaceful resolution.”