11/08/2022

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Fishermen give Aiteo, Conoil ultimatum to assuage suffering caused by oil spill

2 min read

Fishermen sort out their fishing net at the bank of a polluted river in Bidere community in Ogoniland.

…Warn of dire consequences if delayed

Fishermen under the umbrella of National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) has given 14 days marching order to AITEO Eastern E&P Company Limited and CONOIL Plc to immediately swing into action in assuaging the untold hardship the oil spillage unleashed by their operations has cost the fishermen and their families.

This is contained in a letter written to the companies by the association, signed by the Vice President, South-South Zone, Comrade Billy Thankyou, and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt.

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The association warned against delay in responding to the letter, adding that failure, “would lead to litigation and outright stoppage of oil production activities within the domain, “the oil spillage at Santa Barbara South Oil Well 1 (OML 29) in Nembe and gas leakage at the Adriatic 1 Rig (OML 59) in Sangana communities, all in Bayelsa State.”

NFAN noted that the state chapters of the national body, Dynamic Fishermen and Producers Association of Nigeria, had served the oil companies, “letter of notice of distress to the members.”

The strongly-worded letter reiterated the need for operators of the oil facilities to immediately interface with the fishermen and work out modalities for compensating the monumental loss of livelihood of the fishing communities.

“The involved communities, as we speak, need urgent attention in food, medical supplies and compensation to the fishermen. If these conditions are not met or responded to within the given time of 14 days, the association would have no option than to swing into action.

“The companies must fulfill four conditions which includes: immediate evaluation and compensation process. Look at the survey report filed by the state associations. Do a total and thorough clean-up of the polluted water bodies, as well as the mangroves.”

It would be recalled that the spillage at AITEO facilities took place on November 5, and lasted till December 7, 2021, when it was clamped and brought under control, while that of CONOIL occurred on October 31, and lasted till November 25, when it was also brought under control.

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