Port Harcourt — Oil spill from an oilfield operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, has rocked Okpoama community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, polluting the area and causing the people untold hardship.
Okpoama community is the country home of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Chairman, Okpoama Council of Chiefs, Inikio Sele-Dede, said the spill which was noticed since on the 8th of October 2020, was still discharging crude oil into the creeks and adjourning communities till date.
Sele-Dede disclosed that community youths were restrained from storming NAOC Terminal in Brass, over the leakage which occured along the 24″ Ogoda-Brass trunkline operated by Agip at Ikuiku, near Ewoama-Brass.
The Chief explained that the spill which is the second in the area since May 2020, has spread to at least six other communities as a result of tidal current.
He also alleged that officials of NAOC visited the scene of the oilspill secretly, without the knowledge of the JIV team in an attempt to stop the spill, but to no avail.
“In May this year we had a similar incident not far from the present spill site. In this case, iust like the previous case Agip officials came secretly to attempt to stop the leakage but was overwhelmed by the pressure.
“You can imagine the quantum of oil that has gone in the creeks given the number of days of leakage from Oct. 8 tell now.”
He lamented that Ikuiku is an area where women harvest periwinkles, adding that the youths who hitherto engaged in fishing in the area, have suspended their vocation due to the pollution and are angry over the development.
The community, however, called on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, to intervene in the management of the spill incident.