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.
A’Ibom Seeks Int’l Support Against Insecurity
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called for more collaboration between countries in tackling insecurity in the world.
Emmanuel, who made the call while interacting with Foreign Defence Attaches and staff of the Defence Intelligence Agency at the Government House, Uyo said that stronger ties between countries would assist in combating insecurity.
The governor, who also called for stronger ties between countries, said that more collaboration was urgently needed in stemming the tide of terrorism in different countries.
”We believe that defence and security should be number one. We believe that once we get our nation secured, we can fight other vices that might actually derail what we do as a country.
”These days, people talk about cyber terrorism, fake news, rogue organisations, terrorist network and others that have occupied the global space.
“I just want to believe that if all nations collaborate, we can actually fight terrorism and other security challenges to a minimal level,” he said.
The governor, who decried the spate of security challenges in different countries, said that his administration was committed to the development of the state’s air, road and water sectors.
The governor said that the proposed Safe City project would be directed at checkmating criminality and makes the state attractive to more investors.
“We are building a network that would promote the Ease Doing Business and make this state actually attractive to our foreign partners.
”We have also installed a whole lot of systems and technologies needed for effective security monitoring.
“We are just one state in this country that is in the process of implementing a safe city system that will actually enable proper monitoring and effective control of criminal activities,’’ he said.
Emmanuel commended the Defence Intelligence team for the visit, adding that there were huge investment opportunities that foreigners could exploit in the state.
SPDC Reassures On Host Communities’ Development
Shell Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) says it is prioritising development of its host communities which provide operational environment for oil and gas exploration in Niger Delta using the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) template.
The General Manager, External Relations at SPDC, Mr Igo Weli stated this in Yenagoa during the inauguration of completed projects at Tarakiri Cluster Development Cluster in Ekeremor and Sagbama Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Weli said SPDC had completed 24 projects for N496.9 million in six communities within the Tarakiri cluster.
Weli, represented by Mr Evans Krukrubo, External Relations Manager, West Asset, listed Ayamasa, Agbere, Isampou, Ofoni, Agbialama and Egbema in Ekeremo and Sagbama Local Government Areas as the benefiting communities.
“Where the environment supports our business and we run our operations without disruptions, SPDC is committed to increasing the Social Investment that we make to host communities and to Nigeria.
“A peaceful and enabling environment allows SPDC Joint Venture to put more funding to social investment that benefits all our people.
“SPDC has disbursed about N41.1 billion to the 37 active clusters from 2006 till date for community development under the GMoU template,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of the benefiting communities, Dr Jude Ebibokefie, Chairman of Tarakiri Cluster Development Board, commended SPDC for promptly meeting its funding obligations which facilitated the completion of the projects.
He explained that the projects cut across infrastructure, skills acquisition and human capacity empowerment as well as scholarships executed and implemented by the established organs in the GMoU agreement which runs for a five year period.
The Tide’s source reports that some 25 women who successfully completed skills acquisition trainings received a startup grant of N41.1 million at the occasion.
Serial Killings: Police Lament Delay In Prosecuting Prime Suspect
The Police in Rivers State has lamented that murder charges against suspected serial killer, Gracious David-West is pending in the High Court one week after it was filed.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura stated this when he led the police management team on a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi Lamikanra, at her office in Port Harcourt.
Dandaura further said the delay in the dispensation of justice and granting of cheap bail conditions to high profile criminals were some of the challenges facing the police in criminal cases.
According to the State Police boss. “First of all I want to talk on the issue of speedy assigning of cases. Sometimes we will file cases in the High Court and for a long time we will not be given date to come and prosecute these cases.
“Like this David-West (the suspected serial killer) that was arrested. We have already filed this case over a week ago. We are still waiting. We do not want to charge him to the magistrate court because the offences here are for the High Court. It is a murder case.
“When we waited and we could not get any date and we are still waiting; I was asked why not charge him to magistrate Court?
Responding, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Lamikanra, promised that the trial of David West will receive speedy attention following the nature of the crime, adding that other demands of the police would be looked into.
Meanwhile the police said its operatives killed a suspected cultist and kidnap kingpin who had been terrorizing passengers along the Omerelu-Owerri Road, spokesperson of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, who disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Omoni said the suspect was killed during a gun battle with policemen, noting that the deceased along with his fleeing gang members had attempted to hijack a commercial vehicle returning to Port Harcourt from Owerri before meeting his waterloo.
The State Police image maker said, “There was an attempt to hijack a bus at the Omerelu-Owerri Road. But the timely intervention of our men foiled that attack and a notorious kidnapper by the name Promise Nduka whose gang members have been terrorizing that axis was killed in the crossfire.
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