OIL SPILL: PANIC GRIPS BAYELSA COMMUNITY
Panic has gripped Odioma community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the crude oil flowing into the river as a result the oil spill at Bonga oil field. This is even as condemnation has continued to trail the insensitivity of the Federal Government to the incident by not making attempts to visit the area.
According to reports, the people of Odioma have been sending Save Our Soul (SOS) to international agencies on the huge oiling of their river system coming down stream from the Shell Bonga blowout.
The people of the community have concluded plans to send a delegation to the state government to come to their aid before the situation got out of hand.
A Niger Delta activist, Mr. Nengi James has declared that, 'it is an injustice and a shame on the Nigerian government not to visit the site of the Bonga oil spill.'
According to him, it is an indication that there is a conspiracy between Shell and the Nigerian government to keep the Niger Delta people impoverished under systematic rule of penury in the midst of oil wealth.
James, who stated that the oil field producing 200,000 barrels of oil per day was causing serious environmental and health hazards in waterways across Bayelsa bank of the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, the National Youth Council of Nigeria and the Off-Shore Oil and Gas Host communities Youth Development Association (OGHYDA) has expressed disappointment with what it called the recklessness and carelessness of Shell by allowing the spill to occur.
In a statement endorsed by Matthew Ebi Oreiware for Youth Council and Torke Ekpetun, the two groups said Shell had once again failed the Federal Government and the host communities by allowing the incident to happen causing unbearable cost to the people living in coastal communities.
The groups noted that with the incident, it was clear that major oil companies were behind the plot to frustrate the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan to reform the petroleum industry through the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
It, therefore, gave Shell seven days within which it should give a detailed account of what caused the spill and the extent of damage to the marine environment and the compensation for commercial fishermen and other economic dependents of the coastal region.