There’s uneasy calm in Ewelesuo community of Nembe Local
Government Area of Bayelsa State following the deployment of armed security to
the site of the oil flow station and oil well 64, over the massive spillage
reported from the pipelines of the company in the area.
The oil spill, reported
in the early hours of Wednesday by indigenes of the community, was said to have
halted the livelihood of the people including fishing along the rivulets,
creeks and rivers.
A report made available to newsmen by pro-environment
advocacy group, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), confirmed the incident, and
alleged that the deployment of a Sea Truck and Naval Officers in a gunboat to
the site of the spillage provoked anger
and tension in the area.
According to ERA, the Naval Officers deployed to the site
denied access to people at the flowstation.But some indigenes who spoke on the
development ,including an attendant at the Flow Station, Mr Mark Dibigha said
that the oil spill occurred on Wednesday at about 4:00am.
According to him, “it occurred from a valve and following a signal about the incident some Shell officials visited from Nembe Creek Flow Station. They promised coming back but we are yet to see them. Before they went back they made sure that the crude oil stopped spewing”.
Contacted on the development, the Chairman, Oil and Gas
Committee of the Nembe Kingdom, Chief Nengi James said though he was alerted
about 4am, the spillage was a clear indication that the crude oil flowed into the Brass River and towards the
“That is why some of us have the view that the oil companies
are not honest with us; they deliberately allowed the crude oil to flow into
the Brass River and into the mangrove forest before pretending to come for
“We are still going round monitoring the environment and
seeing traces of crude oil. Shell officials are also going around now on the
same mission of monitoring the environment to see the extent of spread”.
“In this connection I want to say that we want Shell to come
and promptly clean-up the creek and impacted swamp. Whether they like it or not
there was spill, it has been discovered; we have seen it.
Chief James said the spill was due to technical fault and
called on Shell to pay appropriate compensation and embarck on thorogu clean-up
of the area
Shell spokesperson, Precious Okolobo confirmed the incident.
He said it occurred at Nembe Creek, 3 Flow Station, Bayelsa State.
Okolobo said, “a pump failure was reported at SPDC’s Nembe
Creek 3 flow station. The pump was
immediately shut down,”
“However, some oil escaped from the seal into the saver pit
in the flow station with some sheen observed. The pump has been repaired,” the
“There was no oil spill, and there was no impact on the
environment,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Nigerian NGO, Environmental Rights Action sent a team to
visit the site Wednesday and reported that there was a spill.
The head of the group, Nnimmo Bassey, described the spill as
“It is shameful that Shell could indulge in such exercise
trying to hide what even the blind can see,” he said.
“The spill is extensive and very visible on the waters — on
the Brass River and is reported to be flowing into the Atlantic Ocean,” he
Army Confirms Killing 16 Terrorists
The troops of Operation Fire Ball have killed 16 Boko Haram/Islamic States for West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in recent encounters in the North East theatre of operation.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known in a statement, yesterday.
The statement was titled, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole: Troops of Operation Fire Ball neutralise several bandits, destroy gun trucks, recover large cache of arms and other items’.
Onyeuko said that four terrorists’ gun trucks were destroyed as well as recovery of a large cache of arms and ammunitions during the various encounters.
The statement read in part, “On October 21, 2020, troops of Special Response Area Gajiram deployed at Check Point Three under Sector Three decisively dealt a heavy blow on BHT/ISWAP criminal elements.
“The eagle-eyed troops who were on alert noticed unusual vehicles following the convoy of vehicles conveying Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri Cosmopolitan City to Baga town in order to infiltrate own position.
“The troops canalised the criminals and inflicted heavy casualty on them. After the ensuing fire-fight, three Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised.
“In a related development, troops of Army Super Camp, Magumeri, decimated several Boko Haram terrorists who attacked the location. After the fierce encounter, 11 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised.
“Similarly, On October 24, 2020, the gallant troops of Army Super Camp located at Mallam Fatori routed elements of Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements, who attacked their location. After the fierce battle two Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised, others escaped with gunshot wounds as traces of blood of dragged casualties by the criminals were seen during exploitation.”
The defence assured populace of the North-East zone of the determination of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria “to finally rout out the remnants of the BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves”.
Wike Tasks RSIEC On Conduct Of LG Credible Polls
The newly reconstituted Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has been charged to ensure it conducts credible elections in compliance with the Local Government Laws of the state.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave this charge shortly after inaugurating the reconstituted leadership of the electoral commission at the Executive Chambers of the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
The governor, who lauded eight members of the commission for their successful screening by the Rivers State House of Assembly, urged them to take the responsibility of conducting credible elections, from the ward to the local government level, seriously.
Wike explained that the inauguration of the new RSIEC became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the previous chairman and commissioners in July, this year.
He emphasised that members of the reconstituted RSIEC must take into cognisance the fact that conducting election in the country was a herculean task, amid all kinds of threats and blackmail.
But, irrespective of this fact, he urged members of the commission not to be dispirited in the discharge of their duties.
“It is not an easy job to participate in conducting election, it is quite tasking. It requires every commitment. It is time consuming, it is energy sapping. Sometimes, in three days, you will not get home”, he pointed out.
Wike stressed that members of the commission must detach themselves from social organisations, particularly those with mixed multitude in order to avoid being accused of partisanship as all eyes would now be on them.
He disclosed that he was aware that some persons were already plotting to thwart the successful conduct of local government election in the state.
To this end, he charged the commission not to be deterred, but make sure it adheres to the provisions of the law.
“So many traps will be set for you so that election will not hold. Like I hear people are plotting that the election will not hold. That is not a problem. You do your own work.”
The governor declared that he does not have any vested interest in the election, and insisted that those who want to contest in the election must showcase themselves, and tell their people why they want to run for office and be voted for.
“Elections must be conducted as soon as possible in compliance with provisions of the Local Government Law as amended”, he added.
Wike said he would not hesitate to drop any member of the commission, if he receives petition with proof that any of them was a card carrying member of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
“I don’t know any of you who has a PDP membership card. If I do know, I will not have appointed you”, he added.
Responding, the chairman of the commission, Justice George Omereji (rtd), lauded the governor for finding them worthy to be saddled with the responsibility to oversee the conduct of the next local government election, and promised not to disappoint the people of the state.
Shiites Dismiss Rumours Of El-Zakzaky’s Dealth
As the rumoured death of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky went wild across the country, yesterday, the group has dismissed the speculation as the handiwork of mischief makers.
The Spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, who dispelled the rumours in a statement made available to journalists, in Abuja, yesterday, said that the, “originators of the rumour and its circulation are government-sponsored mischief makers trying to plunge the nation into further chaos.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has found it necessary to dispel the rumour currently making waves of the passing away of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky. We believe the originators of the rumour and its circulation are government-sponsored mischief makers trying to plunge the nation into further chaos.
“Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky was visited by his family members on Saturday, 24/10/2020, in the Kaduna Correctional Centre where he is being held on trumped up charges by the Kaduna State Government led by Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i.
“While the Sheikh, indeed, suffers from potentially life-threatening health challenges due to injuries to his vital organs, and the subsequent prolonged incarceration without adequate care, none of that is new.
“Clearly, this rumour is emanating from the government and its agents, intent on dragging and soiling the name of the Islamic Movement into their self-inflicted chaotic situation in the country currently, thereby causing further mayhem and unrest as a diversionary tactic”.
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