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Oil Spill: Shell's Delayed Probe To Ascertain 100% Responsibility, Angers Youths

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Despite public outcry and call for government intervention over hazards of oil spill arising from Shell facilities in Izuoma-Ndoki community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, Shell has said it would only claim full responsibility after

 investigation had been conducted into the cause of spills.

The continued delay by the oil firm in conducting its examination is beginning to anger the youths who are said to be spoiling for war, should Shell decide to employ tactical withdrawal from its responsibility.

The spill, according to source occurred in the community on September 15, 2011, but was ignored by Shell Petroleum development Company (SPDC) even after several entreaties by members of the Izuoma-Ndoki community.

Narrating the ordeal, paramount ruler of the community, Chief Chinedu Nwaji said 'When the oil spill occurred on 15 September, we wrote both the Police, DPR and SPDC and they sent people to come and see, after they left, they have not come back to clean it. We are worried about their silence because it is not safe for us, we saw what happened to Jesse people and we don't want such occurrence here. We are using this medium to call SPDC to hasten up and come to clean up the spill, our lives are at risk. It is not a bad thing that oil is found in our community.'

Another source has however revealed that Shell had on Thursday dispatched a team, following the continued entreaties to meet with the community leaders in the area before visiting the site of the oil spill, alongside members of the affected community and their unions, including Oyigbo Cluster Development Board (OCDB), members of Izuoma-Ndoki Community Development Committee and heads of security agencies in the area.

A Shell staff from the community relations department, who led the team, Miss Chidiebere Ogbu said 'the company's decision to visit the spill site is as a result of its social responsibility to its host communities but affirmed that Shell will not take 100 percent responsibility for the oil spill until all investigations into the cause of the incident have been carried out.

'This is the first step of our investigation into the cause of the spill. The truth of the matter is that we cannot really take up 100 percent responsibility of the spill right now.'

One of the communities' spokesmen and chairman of OCDB, Dr. Chihoor Nwaogu, who appealed to the youths who are becoming impatient with the attitude of Shell not to resort to violence over the issue said the visit of the team was to ascertain the level of the damages caused by the spill.

 'When something like this happens, there are some layers of investigations; what we are doing now is peripheral investigation to know what actually happened. Another layer of investigation will involve the NNPC, SPDC and the host community. Experts will come and take the samples, analyse it as well as establish the real cause of the spill.'