Port Harcourt — The Ijaw Diaspora Council has called on the United Nations, to prevail on the the Nigerian government to act swiftly on the still-gushing oil and gas explosion in the waterways and mangrove forests of the Nembe area of Bayelsa State, before the Climate Conference, COP26 rounds off in Glasgow.
The group which has its headquarters in New Jersey, recalled that in the last two weeks Nembe kingdom has singularly experienced two devastating hydrocarbon pollution – the ongoing OML59 gas leaks from Conoil facility in Sangana, Brass and the ongoing OML29 oil spills from Aiteo facility in Opu-Nembe.
The pro-Ijaw group in statement titled, “Before UN Climate Summit ends in Glasgow: Nigeria’s climate catastrophe, hypocrisy, and the latest oil well explosion in Nembe area of Ijaw land, Nigeria”, said COP26 cannot be a success without global action to stop the current ecocide in Nembe.
Director of Public Relations, Ijaw Diaspora Council, Pastor Kenneth Tamara, regretted that the entire mangrove forest and marine environments of Bayelsa State were adversely affected by the same methane gas which world leaders were in Scotland to cut emissions.
Tamara frowned that on the OML59 gas leaks, there has been no official action from the operator, neither from the petroleum and environment ministries and agencies.
He explained that the ongoing oil nd gas explosion in Brass and Opu-nembe were graphic examples of Nigeria’s insincerity and lack of capacity for climate security, environmental justice, and indigenous minorities’ protection.
The group maintained that government agencies were too compromised to sanction defaulting oil operators, while demanding that trusted international bodies should lead investigations into the ongoing pollution, and commence ecological remediation and economic reparations.
“We call for international emergency action on the massive explosion of accumulated gas and oil from a long-sealed, non-producing, but unattended oil well in the Nembe area of Ijaw land, Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Interim inquiries from petroleum experts indicate that the incident was caused by maximum pressure from piled-up gas in the well, which has witnessed several spills in previous years.
” This time, it is catastrophic. As described by the operator of the unattended oil well, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Ltd, a Ghanian-Nigerian oil giant that has been parading global awards for corporate social responsibility, “The magnitude of this incident is of an extremely high order.”
“The indigenous peoples’ entire mangrove forest and marine environments are adversely affected by the same methane gas that world leaders have gathered in Scotland to cut emissions. What is happening now in Nembe is the opposite of whatever the Nigerian Government promised as its nationally determined contribution to global climate action.
“In a neighboring oil field, coastal communities in Brass Local Government Area in Nigeria have also been ravaged for several weeks by gas spewing continually from another conglomerate’s oil rig site named The Adriatic. There has been virtually no official action from the petroleum and environment ministries and agencies, as usual.
“For strange considerations, including conflicted and incestuous interests, Nigeria’s fossil industry regulators have routinely looked away as companies like Aiteo, Shell, and Total routinely gas and pollute hundreds of Ijaw, Ogoni, and other local communities in the Niger Delta. These disasters occurring during COP 26 are graphic examples of Nigeria’s insincerity and lack of capacity for climate security, environmental justice, and indigenous minorities’ protection. We can no longer allow this catastrophic environmental destruction to go on without a consolidated international response.
“Therefore, we call on the Presidency, the United Nations and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and world leaders to take every immediate action to cause the Government of Nigeria to stop the ongoing Nembe-Nigeria gas explosion in parallel with the COP26.
“We also call on G8 and OECD countries and the international environmental rights and climate change movement to commence ecological remediation and economic reparations and activate detailed investigations.
“The superintending Nigerian ministries and departments are too compromised to act to determine and sanction defaulting operators. Their officers and the recalcitrant regulators have encouraged their repeated crimes of ecocide. Therefore, we demand that trusted international bodies lead the investigations, and commence ecological remediation and economic reparations.”