Delta communities send SOS to FG, state govt over environmental pollution by oil Coy

By Gabriel Elozino

Following alleged gross negligence of the oil-producing communities in Ndokwa region of Delta state by the Oil Companies operating in the area, the communities have sent a Save our Soul (SoS) cry to the Federal and Delta state governments, urging them to immediately steer up measures in checkmating the conducts of the companies.

They specifically accused the major oil giants Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Company Limited, popularly known as Sterling Global of threatening the livelihood and existence of the people in the area through its oil exploration that has allegedly destroyed both plant and aquatic life.

Addressing newsmen on the development, on behalf of the Ndokwa people, a notable leader from one of the affected communities, Okpai-Oluchi in Ndokwa East Local Government of the State, Mr Chibuzor Ikwuobodo, alleged that the company has not carried out proper clean-up on the environments resulting in various pipeline leakages in the community.

He alleged that Sterling Global has over twelve oil spillages in the community, without any reasonable effort so far put in place to arrest the situation.

According to Ikwukbodo who is also an environmental expert, the company’s oil facilities (pipeline) cut across the communities in Ndokwa land including Okpai-Oluchi and nobody has been compensated for its protection for over eight years.

He said the company has desecrated the entire Ndokwa lands and waters through oil exploitation without adhering to ethical standards of oil exploration and oil and gas laws.

He called on the government regulatory and monitory agencies to checkmate the activities of the oil companies for the interest of the people whose lives were badly affected, saying “attention should be given once there is a cry.

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He said that the presence of the company has made life unlivable for people dwelling in the area with no plan of action by the government or the company to write the wrongs.

He attributes oil companies’ failure to comply with the required laws to poor response of the government towards scrutinizing the company’s activities.

He said, “In government axis, I will want them to checkmate the oil companies properly. There is what is called monitoring and regulatory body in oil industry. The respective authorities should carry out their duties as assigned.

“On the oil and gas, there are laws which comprise of national and international laws like the Paris Agreement and all that. They should try to obey at least 80% if not 100%, then, it will be acceptable. But these days, they (oil companies) don’t care because whatever they do, they go scot-free.

“The companies damned on Federal Government’s laws, oil and gas laws, international laws as a result of poor monitoring bodies. So, the federal government should try as much as possible to follow the templates online, the information be passed across.

“Attention should be given once there is a cry. Imagine, many years Nigeria found her oil, till date, we are still facing the impact shell left behind. Shell is no longer on the land. They have gone onshore but the damage they caused we are still facing till date.”

Recall that Niger Delta Youths have on March 2022, embarked on a mega protest to register their grievances for what they described as evil activities perpetrated by some of the Oil Companies in the area.

The Youths in large numbers protested against the irregularities of Sterling Global over gross negligence of corporate social responsibility projects to the host communities.

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