20 August 2012, Sweetcrude, EKET – RESIDENTS of Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom at the weekend staged a protest following the oil spill reported at Exxon Mobil owned Qua Iboe oil fields in Nigeria.
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, confirming the spill at the Mobil Producing Nigeria, MPN operated field in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom last week, ordered an immediate a clean-up of the spill by the company. MPN is the local arm of Exxon Mobil in Nigeria.
The protesters, comprising fishermen, youths, women and farmers affected by the spill, carried placards, demanding for action from the local government officials against Mobil.
The angry protesters, who were prevented from gaining access to the council premises, were later addressed by the Vice Chairman of the local government, Mr Enobong Asubob.
The spokesman of the protesters, Mr EdohoUqua Paul, said the youths would seek self help if the council failed to prevail on Exxon Mobil, the parent company of Mobil, to take full responsibility for the spill.
“It has come to our notice that the oil spill agency has ordered them to clean up the contaminated shoreline but for one week now nothing has happened.
“If Mobil dares the regulator, it means that they are up to something and we shall not allow them to get away with this. The pain that the spill has inflicted on the fishing population along the coastline is unimaginable.
“With the waters contaminated, you can no longer have any reasonable catch and even when you catch anything, the fish would be oil contaminated and poisonous for consumption.
“We appeal to you to use your office to get Mobil to retrace its steps by withdrawing the comments in the media that they do not know the source of the oil spill, we cannot be deceived,” Paul said.
Responding, the vice chairman said he would convey the message to the Chairman of the Council, Chief Ibanga Etang, who would take up the matter with the appropriate authorities.
He commended the peaceful disposition of the youths and advised them to abstain from lawlessness as dialogue remained the best option in conflict resolution.