15 December 2016, Warri – The people of Oghior and Ukpiovwin oil communities in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State have cried out that they are facing food shortage since the oil spillage and subsequent fire outbreak last month on a Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, pipeline, which contaminated their stream, destroyed farmlands and their other means of livelihood.
President-generals of the two communities, Wisdom Ghaghara and Mr. Lucky Ejenavwu, respectively, in a statement after a joint meeting at Otor-Udu, in which they demanded a compensation of N855 million apiece from NPDC, also alleged that the company attached more importance to its installations than the host communities.
They requested the governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, “To prevail on NPDC to comply with our demands to allow peace reign between us and NPDC.
“NPDC should urgently send relief materials to the two communities because the spillage, which occurred September 19, affected Oghior, Ukpiovwin and other communities along the flow line. The level of damage done is causing untold hardship to thousands of persons. It also needs to quickly clean up the affected stream and farmlands,” they said.
The communities are demanding a compensation of N855 million each, saying, “The NPDC should, as a matter of urgency, award the contract for the clean-up of the whole environment affected by the spillage and the subsequent fire outbreak to avoid further destruction of the ecosystem and the imminent health hazard.”
Lamenting that indigenes of the communities were not on the company’s staff lift, they said: “We have noticed that NPDC has no regard for the human lives in the host communities. We noticed with dismay that despite the hunger that pervades the communities as a result of their negligence, NPDC went to Well 12 in Ukpiovwin community (in OML-34) to fix a Christmas Tree without the consent of Ukpiovwin community.
“This is because the management and staff want the job done to corruptly enrich themselves through high cost of the contract, which they inflated. When the community called them, they said that it was their facility which they can access and fix without any interference from the host community (Ukpiovwin).”