Port Harcourt — The Ijaw Diaspora Council has lamented over incessant cases of oil spills, shootings, environmental degradation, attacks and public protests which has characterised the Ijaw land.
President of the Ijaw Diaspora Council, Mondy Gold, regretted that oil exploration activities have wrecked farmlands, rivers, streams and creeks, adding that the group was concerned over the developmental and environmental challenges facing the Niger Delta region.
Gold speaking at the just concluded 2022 IDC Convention in the United States,
particularly decried that Aiteo’s OML29 oil spill incident in Nembe has moved thousands of kilometres across the sea surface, killing millions of seabirds, acquatic mammals, sea turtles etc.
He also expressed concerns that people who live near oil and gas facilities were more likely to be exposed to contaminated groundwater and polluted air, cancer, birth abnormalities, liver damage, respiratory, cardiovascular, and other disorders.
“Oil spills in Ijaw land, shootings, terrorist attacks, and massive public protests have all jolted the Ijaw Diaspora in unprecedented ways.
“Oil prospecting has wrecked the limited agricultural land surface, sea, rivers, streams, and lakes.
“In disasters like the Nembe spill, oil has moved thousands of kilometres across the sea surface, killing millions of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Despite the challenges, IDC not only endured but also grew stronger than before.”
He listed the immediate priority of IDC to include pulling Ijaw people out of poverty and providing them with a life of peace, prosperity, decency, and dignity, and immediate construction of the Oloibiri Oil Museum and Research Center.
“In the Ijaw territory, these diseases are directly linked to a significant percentage of mortality. Things would go extremely wrong if we in the diaspora refuse to act or run away from our responsibility, not just for us but also for you and the next generation.
“We must be resolved to overcome all obstacles in order to defend Ijaw territory and contribute to Nigeria’s peace, stability, and progress,” Gold stated.
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