Nigeria: Nuclear experts arrive Adamawa over deaths from uranium radiation



… As Plateau pays N20m to victims of chlorine gas leak

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

28 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Scientists from the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) have arrived Adamawa State to inspect uranium radiation that allegedly killed villagers in Michika Local Government Area.

The Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Shanti Sanshi Victoria, said an expert team from the nuclear agency in Abuja had arrived the state to inspect the site of possible radiation.

She rejected assertions that radiation killed several people in five villages in Michika, saying the outcome of the scientific tests by the experts would provide a clue to the possible health problems in the area as there was still no proven scientific evidence upon which to draw conclusions.

The Director of Geology at the Adamawa State Ministry of Solid Minerals, Dlama Zira had during a recent presentation at the Government House in Yola, said several people had died of radiation from uranium deposits in five communities in Michika, namely Garta, Futubou, Himike, Sina-Kwande Nkala and Ghumthi, saying since the 1950s, villagers had attributed deaths from radiation to evil spirits.

“The people of the affected communities for many years sacrificed hundreds of goats to appease their deity, seeking protection from the evil spirit that they believed were causing unidentified illnesses and sudden deaths in the communities. They didn’t know that they were sitting on and drinking water from huge uranium deposits identified by radiation experts as the cause of the illnesses and rampant deaths,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Plateau State government has paid N20 million as compensation to the relatives of the eight victims of last year’s chlorine gas leak from a government water treatment plant along Murtala Mohammed Way, Jos, Plateau State.

Eight persons in Dakum community had choked to death while about 100 persons were hospitalised when they inhaled chlorine gas released from wrongly placed cylinders stored in the state government’s water treatment plant on the 25th of July 2015.

Plateau State Commissioner of Water Resources, Eng. David Jafaru Wuyep yesterday said the state government had on the anniversary of the tragedy commiserated with the families of the victim and given out the sum of N2.5 million to the families of each of the victims as a relief.

Wuyep added, “We will go further than that to reach out to their various state governments in terms of support so that those that lost breadwinners are given employment and scholarship for students.”

He also noted that the interim report on the gas leak showed some level of sabotage, adding that the issue had been transferred to the police for investigation.

About the Author