31st August, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Chairman of Gokana local Government Area of Rivers Confidence Nyima Deko has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC to quickly intervene to avert looming human tragedy over oil spill sites in Deebom community of Bodo city, Ogoniland area of the state.
Residents of the communit have been caught on camera taking turns to scoop the gushing spills, exposing themselves to imminent danger of explosion from the highly inflammable crude oil.
But it was believed that the oil spill resulted failure of an equipment belonging to SPDC in the area.
But an a press statement signed by Maxwell Dukori, his Chief Press Secretary on Tuesday evening, the Chairman of Local Government Council said “the situation on ground in Bodo was a disaster, that must be addressed with the urgency it deserves.
The Gokana Council Boss also appealed to people of Bodo Community to maintain peace and avoid anything that will aggravate the situation on ground.
He also also urged security agencies to maintain peace and order in the community, noting that the police are already taking action on the situation.
“The DPO of Kpor Police Division who was accompanied by other security agencies to the spill site, advised the people of Bodo to maintain peace and order, and avoid anything that will ignite a fire outbreak, as the entire area is already in danger.
“Our prayers are with the people of Bodo Community.”
Our Correspondent reports that there have been fears of imminent explosion as residents of Bodo community are risking their lives to scoop gushing crude oil from spill sites of burst Trans Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP).
Reports from the area indicated that the villagers are taking turns to scoop the crude oil.
Earlier in the week, some residents of the spill imparted area had staged peaceful protests, calling on Shell and relevant authorities to come to their aid to avert disaster.
The latest spill was reported to have occurred in Bodo in the late evening of Wednesday, August 24, 2022, while the first was August 2.
In a statement, Fyneface DumnameneFyneface of YEAC-Nigeria confirmed that the new oil spill occurred in Bodo in the late evening of Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
The group said the August 2, 2022 oil spill from Shell’s facility which the standards of measurement was not known to the public was reported to have spilled only ‘five barrels’ of oil into the environment, blamed on equipment failure after Joint Investigation Visit (JIV), Shell accepted responsibility for the spill and discussion for the payment of compensation and clean-up currently ongoing.
However, the group said the latest spill occurred at about 4:23AM (local time) on August 25, on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) in Bodo City as a result of equipment failure’.
“While not concluding on the possible cause of the new oil spill in Bodo Community as reported by its member till Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) is carried out, YEAC-NIGERIA condemns this new oil spill.
The organisation calls on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), SPDC and other relevant authorities to immediately mobilise for a consultative meeting with the community leadership, carryout a well-representative Joint Investigation visit (JIV) that includes the media, non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders to determine and confirm the cause of the spill and then take appropriate steps to clamp the spill point, clean up the environment and pay adequate compensation to members of the community that have been impacted by the oil spill.
The group also advised Shell and other companies to reduce pressure of crude oil transported through the Trans Niger Pipeline because of mass tapping by crude oil thieves and to replace out-dated and obsolete pipes to forestall further equipment failures and spilling of more crude oil into the fragile Niger Delta environment.
It would be recalled after similar oil spills, Bodo Community and others in 2008 dragged Royal Dutch Shell before a London High Court. Shell later opted for out-of-court settlement, accepted responsibility for the spills and paid £55million compensation in 2015.
A component of the 2015 out-of-court settlement was that SPDC will carry out special environmental clean-up in Bodo Community.
But the exercise is being complicated by re-pollution through new oil spills from further equipment failures, including the August 2 and August 24, 2022 oil spills, among others,” the group noted.