AGIP OIL SPILL: COMMUNITY, ERA CRY OUT FOR CLEAN UP
BY Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa-The people of Ikeinghen-biri community in Olodiama clan in Sout-hern Ijaw Local Govern-ment Area of Bayelsa State and Environment Rights Action, ERA, have called on National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, and related government agencies to prevail on Nigeria Agip Oil Company to clean up the polluted environment.
Though the spill from a ruptured pipeline belon-ging to Agip, which occurred on September 27 had since been clamped, the natives want the clean up done to prevent spread as a result of heavy rainfall.
Community Develop-ment Committee chairman of the embattled Ikeinghenbiri, Mr. Marshall Amabebe, noted with sadness that nearly a month after the incident the company was yet to clean up the impacted area.
He said: 'This spill occurred on September 27 and we promptly infor-med the owners of the crude oil bearing pipe-line, Agip. We led Agip to locate the actual site (Agip didn't even know the site that was spewing the crude oil). The compa-ny later came back with a gunboat and soldiers on October 2 and without any community represen-tatives, they accessed the ruptured site and clam-ped (stopped) the section then left.
'Our people felt very intimidated by the gunboat and soldiers. Up till today, Agip has not told us the cause of spill and we are not comfortable with this development. Ordinarily, we expect Agip to ensure that stakeholders were invited to the spill site before clamping was effected with a view to ascertain the cause of spill.
'We demand that Agip tell us the cause of spill. They have to show that there was a Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, to the spill site. If there was one, we demand to have the JIV report.'