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SPDC frustrating oil spill redress efforts, says Bayelsa community


Oil spill site in Bodo community PHOTO: ROSELINE OKERE

The people of Aghoro 1 community in Ekeremor Council of Bayelsa State have accused Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of frustrating their efforts to get redress following a major oil spill in the area last year.

A letter to the SPDC managing director by the community’s consultants, Furoebi Akene, said the personnel of the company were employing oppressive tactics on the issue.

“A major crude oil spill occurred around Agoro section of the Trans-Ramos pipeline and was noticed on May 17, 2018 and a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was made between May 25 and 29, 2018.

“During the JIV, the following confirmations were made: The spill was as a result of instrument (pipe) rupture as a result of corrosion; the spilled crude has already spread into Ramos river, creeks and the swamps that covered a large expanse of land; farm lands, fishing gears, marine and aquatic lives, trees, etc have been impacted. Communities, fishing and other settlements are adversely impacted.

“We are compelled to write you this letter due to the oppressive antics adopted by your company since the spill occurred, though you are above the enabling laws of this country where you operate. This letter also becomes inevitable against the sad backdrop of the fresh moves by officials of SPDC in Port Harcourt led by the head of lands, in pathetic disregard for due process and industry’s best practices,” they stated.

The community called on the MD to take the path of honour and direct his staff to act according to the laws of the land.

When contacted, the Media Relations Manager of SPDC, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan, declined comments.

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