Reps, CEPEJ urge Agip to contain oil spill in Bayelsa

12 November 2015, Yenagoa -The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, to move into the spill- ravaged communities in Bayelsa State to contain the calamity, avoid fire outbreak and do the needed clean up.

AgipThe House also directed that oil companies operating in the region should publish monthly updates of oil spills in five national newspapers and submit copies of same to the House, as well as disclose the existence of potentially dangerous equipment and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.

Similarly, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, has called on Agip, to immediately kick-start the process to clean up the communities allegedly ravaged by oil spills in Bayelsa State.

The appeal is coming against the backdrop of last week’s multiple oil spills that reportedly ravaged Kalaba/Ayamabele and Akumoni communities of Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.

National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Mr Sheriff Mulade, in a statement in Yenagoa, however, urged the youths of the affected communities not to take the law into their hands to avoid inflicting more damage on the environment.

He said: “Going by reports, we understand that Kalaba/Ayamabele and Akumoni communities of Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State were seriously affected by the spills.

“Feelers coming from the communities indicate that the oil firm has not paid surveillance contractors since July this year for clean-up jobs in impacted areas.  If that is the case, we condemn in its entirety the poor relationships between the oil company and the communities.”

Meanwhile, the House call on Agip oil to clean up areas where it recorded spills, was part of the resolution on a motion of urgent national public importance sponsored by Douye Diri.

Diri, in the motion, noted that oil companies have continued to treat resolutions passed on same matter with disdain, adding that if the trend was allowed to continue, the National Assembly would lose it’s respect before the public.

He expressed worry that the spills always resulted in wanton waste of lives and property, adding that it also inflicts severe pollution on the environment.

He said: “The lives and livelihood of the people of the Niger Delta have become too cheap and dispensable to the oil companies in their unbridled quest for profit.”

He said that rather than own up to their culpability and do what was necessary, the spills were routinely attributed to illegal bunkering or sabotage which normally left the communities to their fate.

He said, “Despite numerous promises that the multi-national oil operators have made to this House and impacted communities, no useful effort to tackle oil spills has been made.”


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