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Niger Delta

Environmentalists Want Proper Clean-Up Of Oil Spill Sites In Communities

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Environmentalists under the aegis of Environmental rights action(ERA) have berated oil majors operating in Bayelsa State for their improper remediation and clean-up of sites of oil spills in Biseni clan of Yenagoa council area of the state.
The Tide gathered that constant oil spill has reportedly rocked Tein community of Biseni Kingdom.
Reports made available to newsmen by the Environment Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) from their field reports, have it that the constant spill which had occurred in the Biseni-Asamabiri cluster, with 14 inches pipe which in turn leads to Obiobio, between March and February 2020, in a facility own by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC has caused an unimaginable hazard to the clan’s Environment.
The pipe leak, ERA’s head in the State, Comrade Alagoa Morris, said, the spill has not been cleaned up, noting that NOSDRA and the Ministry of Environment were not there when they came for the clamping, in the fishing and farming settlement.
The Tide further gathered that the people of Tein in Biseni Kingdom have also experienced several oil spills for years which ERA/FoEN has said was as a result of equipment failure.
“The operators, Agip, should ensure that they carry the regulators along.When we had that they are coming with Swampbugi again we felt we should follow up on what is happening to the Environment”, the ERA boss said.
“I Want to join my voice with the people, the families, and others saying that Agip should do the needful by coming to ensure that the Environment that was polluted by their own crude oil is properly cleaned up. Possible remediation should be carried out.
“And that is what we want. We’re demanding for a sustainable Environment for our people,and that is what we need,” he said.
Also corroborating ERA’s position, a community leader, Chief David Obuma, said over the time the clan has suffered alot from the oil companies, Shell and Agip, saying the multinationals have never done any perfect clean up job on their Environment.
“Here when we hear any spillage they will say it is sabotage, does it means that the spill cannot be cleaned?”
“They always term any oil spill as sabotage, meaning somebody must have burst the pipe, who is the person? No name, so, we are worried,
“Last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, around March, there was a spillage in 14 inches pipe beginning from the cluster to Obiobio, in Ahoada, before the people realized, the oil companies came with excavators’, without even letting the Chiefs know that such a thing has happened. They covered it up till today; we have written letters to Agip, they have not done anything,
“For us we are not just a host Community, but also landlords, because when you say host Community that means you are hosting somebody, that can run away any time”, he said.
Obuma who once served as member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly called on Nigerians to come to the aid of the people, saying they were in a precarious situation.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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