Monday, 31 October 2016

Commotion: Delta Communities Issue 7-day Ultimatum To NNPC [MUST READ]

Updated 31 October, 2016
At least 35 communities affected by oil spill in Gbaramatu Kingdom have issued a 7-day ultimatum to NNPC to clean up the area. 

They urge NNPC to provide them with relief materials and compensation. 

The communities say they would have no other option than to shut down the Escravos to Warri trunk line if the NNPC fails to comply with their demands within seven days At least 35 communities affected by oil spill in Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Warri South West Council Area of Delta state, on Saturday, October 29, issued the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a seven-day ultimatum to commence clean-up exercise in the area. They also called for the NNPC to provide them with relief materials and compensation. 

In a letter addressed to NNPC Group Managing Director and made available to NAIJ.com, the communities said it was observed and agreed during the joint investigation visit that the spill was as result of equipment failure. 

But according to them, the NNPC and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), have refused to accept blame for the spill which other regulatory agencies included NOSDRA and the ministry of environment assented to after the JIV.

In a letter signed by Johnbull Demebi, Edward Odudu and Chief Moses Bebenimibo, the communities said that if NNPC fails to comply with their demands within seven days, they would have no other option than to shut down the Escravos to Warri trunk line. 

The spill which they claimed started August 17 and lasted another two months affected Ikpokpo, Tejubor, Okpelema, Opuede, Opuede-Zion, Opuedebubor, Meka-Ama, Oto-Gbene, New Jerusalem Zion, Mala-Gbene, Atanba, Okerenkoko-Gbene, Oporoza federated communities, Gama-Zion and Azama communities. Others are Inikorogha, Ibanfa, Igoba, Kunukunuama, Pepeama, Kurutie, Jaghala, Okerenkoko, Egwa, Bikumor, Sarabubowei, Benikrukru, Kokodiagbene, Kantu, Bebebopre Zion, Olukperebu, Oburu, Ogbotu-Gbene and Seitorsububor Communities of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

The statement read: 

“It is insulting and provocative for a spiller like the NNPC/NPSC to refuse to accept the cause of an oil spill that has been determined and accepted by the regulators: NOSDRA and the ministry of environment. 

“NNPC/NPSC is only interested in pumping crude oil through the trunk line whereas the affected communities are in pain and sorrow with more communities affected by the spill because of the deliberate and wilful refusal of NNPC to clean up the impacted communities and curtain further spread. 

“The communities in the light of the foregoing have given the NNPC/NPSC (PPMC) seven days ultimatum to clean up the impacted communities, provide relief materials and pay adequate and fair compensation to the communities and people. 

“If NNPC/NPSC fails to comply with our demands within seven days, we would have no other option than to shut down the Escravos to Warri trunk line until our demands are met.”

Gistcall recalls that some of the communities had in September sent a save our soul message to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state. 

They urged the governor to prevail on PPMC to carry-out a proper investigation to stop further spill, take remediation steps and compensation of the affected people and communities.

They added that relief materials should be provided to the villagers to cushion the immediate effect of the spillage on the people to save them from starvation. 

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