Delta Community Protests Against Chevron

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The people of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State at the weekend urged Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, to quench the fire in Ikpalakpalabou oil well and embark on assessment of the toxic effects on residents and the immediate environment as well as pay varying monetary sums as compensation for the disaster.
The people made the call at a peaceful protest following the recent fire outbreak four days ago which has been degrading the land and life of the people.
National President of the community, Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, in a presentation co-signed by Secretary of Polobubou, Midwest Kukuru, said, “As we speak, there is a thick cloud of smoke over Polobubo, constantly raining soot and oil on our people. In this current situation, the oil-well fire has caused Polobubou and its people so much pains, loss and is leaving so much damage behind.
“Chevron should immediately send qualified medical doctors to start attending to all the sick and weak in the community.
“We don’t need to die before they will believe that their activities are seriously affecting us adversely. We need clean potable water urgently because even the ones we currently drink have been polluted from their sources.
“We urgently need all sorts of food stuffs because we no longer have access to our main source of livelihood; fishing, which is also our main source of food. Hunger is worsening in the community.
“We need Chevron to, with immediate effect, embark on a process of cleaning the waters within and surrounding the community immediately.
“This is because they provide life for seafood, it is still the only means of recreation for our children, but as it is currently polluted by crude oil and gas, we can’t fish, just as our children cannot swim in it. It is almost a ‘concentration camp’ experience for us currently.
“We are a community of peaceful and hardworking people, but besides the fact that Chevron has refused to give our people jobs, the natural environment that ought to have been their source of livelihood has been taken away from them by the activities of the company. In the light of this, we demand that Chevron pays compensation to every member of Polobubou.”
Mac-Yoroki also said Chevron Nigeria Limited should provide them with potable water, food, medical aid among other things.
He said they are hungry and in dire need of medical attention, stressing that the fire has polluted their lands.
Mac-Yoroki said, “Our water and food sources”has been polluted by the fire.
He lamented the “unfair treatment” the people have suffered despite its peaceful disposition towards Chevron Nigeria Limited.
“All entreaties to Chevron to save our from the toxic effects of this fire have yielded no result. A much more grievous injustice by this company that has feigned friendship, against our ever-welcoming and peaceful people is the ongoing attempt to cede our land to Ondo state and thereby fan another needless ethnic crisis,” he said.
In his reaction, the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro assured the people that the state government will not later than next Tuesday, send a delegation that may include CNL officials to assess the damage and proffer possible solutions to the issues raised.
He appreciated the community and its leadership for toeing the line of peace.
The Deputy Governor stated that while the State Government is aware of the fire incident, it also knows that the oil company is “making some frantic efforts towards getting that fire off”.
“I want to assure you that the Delta state government, led by Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is a responsive government; a government that responds to the yearnings of its people and just like you have said, there is an issue and I want to say that between now and Tuesday next week, we will send a high power Delta state government team, possibly in collaboration with Chevron Nigeria Limited, to see, first hand, what the issues are, with a view to addressing some of them,” he said.