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Community seeks empowerment for victims of Nembe oil spills

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
21 December 2021   |   2:40 am
OPU-Nembe community in Bayelsa state has urged the Federal Government agencies to provide alternate means of livelihood for the victims of oil spills.

Contained spillage from OML 29 at Santa Barbara, Bayelsa State PHOTO: Jesutomi Akomolafe

Opu-Nembe community in Bayelsa state has urged the Federal Government agencies to provide alternate means of livelihood for the victims of oil spills. 
   
The paramount ruler of the Opu-Nembe kingdom, the Amayanabo of Opu-Nembe Kingdom, King Biobelemoye Josiah, Ogbodo VIII, declared that federal regulatory agencies have not done enough to reduce the impacts of the fire outbreak as a result of the oil spillage. 
   
The Opu-Nembe Kingdom decried the hardship the people of the oil-bearing community as their means of livelihoods have either been ravaged by the continuous burning of fire which produces unbearable heat that has killed fishes in most of the ponds or makes movements of the people almost impossible.

   
A statement, which was personally signed by the paramount ruler said: “Federal Government agencies such as the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Regulatory Commissions of the relevant Streams (up, mid and down) in the oil industry, the National Environmental Sanitation and Regulatory Agency (NESREA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) should show more concern for the wellbeing of my people as well as reduce their sufferings. There have been no relief materials for the people or things that will make life more meaningful for the people since the first outbreak.” 
     
However, the King lauded the governor of the state, Senator Douye Diri, for setting up a committee aimed at assessing the extent and effect of the spill in the community.
     
The King, who expressed the appreciation of the community to the governor in a statement yesterday, Saturday, also commended the governor for condemning the non-stoppage of the oil and gas spill and the continued destruction done to the environment and the loss of livelihood of the people of Opu-Nembe kingdom.

The King and his Kingdom also appreciated the governor for embarking on an on-the-spot assessment of the ravaging oil and gas blow out which is yet to be contained for about a month. 
   
The statement said: “We put on record, the empathy shown by Your Excellency, in providing immediate cushioning financial support to all segments of the Kingdom during your visit. We further commend you for immediately directing your Deputy to set up an assessment committee on Nembe Oil Spillage”.
     
King Biobelemoye disclosed that the entire community equally commended the governor for urging AITEO whose oil wellhead caused the spill, to provide adequate remediation/compensation for affected communities, families, businesses, farmlands/fishing waterways/implements.
     
He urged the governor to request the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to swiftly distribute relief materials to communities affected by the persistently gushing oil and gas spill.