Bayelsa community protests gas leakage, alleges neglect by FG, Conoil
Threatens to shutdown oil rig
Oil-rich Sagana community in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, yesterday, protested what it described as negligence and insensitivity by the Federal Government and Conoil, weeks after gas from an oil rig spewed an unspecified quantity of gas into the environment.
The community leaders called on relevant authorities to compel Conoil, the owner of the rig, to come to their aid to prevent the community from losing its main source of livelihood, which is fishing.
The locals threatened to shut down operations of Conoil.
The Adriatic One Rig, owned by Conoil, operators of Oil Mining Lease 59 located in the community, had spewed gas into the environment for almost three weeks before the leakage was brought under control.
Chief Moses Jonathan, a member of the Sangana National Council of Chiefs, said: “Aquatic life has been damaged. We can take you back to 1960, the Greenhouse explosion in USA. Even in Chicago. There were a lot of things that happened there and the government remedied the situation, but in our case, the company has shown some kind of laxity. They have not even replied to us and the government is paying deaf ear.”
Another leader of the community, Chief Tekenah Dau, said: “We are today helpless, even Conoil, which owns the drilling rig has refused to listen to us.’
Reuben Preboye, the chairman of the Community Development Council, said they were also unhappy that since the incident, the investigation has not been carried out by relevant government agencies and operators of the rig to ascertain the level of damage.
“We demand immediate action. What we need are relief materials, medical teams, as soon as possible and they have to think of a way of paying adequate compensation,” he said.