Mkpoikana Udoma 25 August 2016, Port Harcourt – Residents of six communities in Ahoada-West Local Government Council of Rivers State affected by a recent earth tremor have blamed the incident on the activities of multinational oil companies operating in the areas.
Lamenting that the tremor, which occurred in June, had been left un-investigated, the communities said the development was a major source of concern.
Members of the communities reportedly now live in fear as cracks were appearing on buildings following the tremor.
The paramount ruler of Edagbiri, one of the affected communities, Chief Jacob Obelle, listed the affected communities to include Oroma, Akeoniso, Edagbiri, Betterland, Joinkrama and One-man country.
Obelle expressed concern over failure of multinationals operating in the area to commence investigation into what led to the incident four weeks after.
He named the oil companies operating in the area to include Total Exploration and Production, Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
He said the communities were yet to get succour from either the government or multinationals since the incident.
According to him, “We noticed a very serious tremor within the night period and it shook almost every house in the community. If I should conduct you around, you will see so many houses with cracks on the walls. We’re believing that the tremor occurred because of oil exploration activities in Edagbiri.”
The paramount ruler expressed fear that the cracks which occurred as a result of the tremor could cause buildings collapse, putting the lives of the people at risk.
He lamented that no government presence could be seen in the area in spite of oil exploration activities there.
“We are afraid our communities will sink one day. We produce over 48 oil wells and not a single federal, state or local government project is in this community,” Chief Obelle said.