Environmentalist alerts on gas leakage in Bayelsa
There was fear of gas leakage into the atmosphere along Kolo-Otueke Bayelsa Palm Road in Ogbia Local Council of Bayelsa State, yesterday.
The massive gas leakage was from an Agip pipeline close to Yenagoa, the state capital.
When The Guardian visited the scene, there was a battery connected with a cable, suggesting it might be sabotage, even though the information had it that there was an explosion on Monday night that might have resulted in the bursting of facility.
Addressing journalists at the site, Head of Field Operations, Niger Delta Resources Centre of ERA/FoEN, Morris Alagoa, recollected this makes it the second to happen in the same location, adding: “But not the second time in Bayelsa and Niger Delta.”
Alagoa said, it is not strange for people like him, who are always on the field, as issues like this happen every now and then, especially spilling of oil and gas.
“It has been a reoccurring incident again and again,” he stated.
Though the ERA/FoEN official noted that there were signs that the incident may have been man-made as indicated by both the fresh mod and little battery connected to the point, he stated that there must have been a detonated explosive, as “it also speaks volume in terms of security of the pipeline.”
He went on: “There are giant anthills on the Agip pipeline, which might also help the people to sabotage the system, even in the afternoon to burst the pipeline because it will serve as a cover for the perpetrators
“We have SPDC pipeline on the other side and Agip pipeline this way. And both are running on the same line, which means there should be visible so that people passing by will see any intruders whether in the daytime or at night. That could also send a signal that something is happening here.”
Alagoa said the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had visited the site, hoping that other relevant agencies like the Ministry of Environment that had equally visited to erect a demarcation, which will shield the people from danger.
Some of the residents, who raised concern about the development, Kelvin Irhurhu and Eboughe Awudu, want government and other relevant agencies to immediately swing into action before it results in something disastrous.
An Agip worker, who spoke in confidence, said the gas pipeline was fixed a few days ago, before being blown up again by vandals.
The fire at the site, which had forced surrounding vegetation to wither, was yet to be put out as of the time of filling this report.
Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Isekemo Gbaranbiri, could not be reached as he was said to be at the State House of Assembly, defending his ministry’s budget.