•Threatens to shutdown NGC operation in Gbaramatu
Gbaramatu communities affected by August 25, 2017 gas explosion along the Escravos to Warri gas pipeline has given two weeks ultimatum to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) to carry out an assessment of the extent of damage done to the people and communities.
The ultimatum as issued demands also that the NGC, implement remedial steps and compensate the people and communities affected by the gas explosion.
Gbaramatu communities gave this ultimatum at the weekend after a meeting of the affected communities to review the ongoing forceful repair of the damaged gas pipeline by the company without carrying out joint investigation visit to determine the cause of the explosion.
Speaking with GbaramatuVoice after the meeting, a representative of the communities Mr. Godwin Akori stated that when the communities noticed the massive emission of gas from the Escravos to Warri gas pipeline at Ikpokpo community, Gbaramatu, it promptly informed officials of the NGC office in Warri.
He added that report was also extended to the Warri zonal office of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) which prompted NOSDRA to call for a meeting of stakeholders on October 12, 2017, in Warri.
Continuing, Godwin Akori explained that at the meeting, it was directed that joint investigation visit is carried out to ascertain the cause of the gas explosion.
The above directive, the community representative alleged that the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) now known as Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company completely disregarded.
But went ahead to mobilize contractor to the site of the explosion with the aid of men of the Nigerian Army to forcefully carry out repair of the leaked gas pipeline without addressing the grievances of the affected Gbaramartu communities.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Edward Odudu, another community leader stated that all efforts by the Zonal office of NOSDRA to get NGC to carry out a joint investigation in order to ascertain the extent of damage failed.
He also pointed out that all the appeal to the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu to intervene fell on deaf ears; hence the two weeks ultimatum.
The communities, therefore, threatened to shut down all NGC operations in Gbaramatu Kingdom at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum.
Some of the villages affected by August 25, 2017, gas explosion along the Escravos to Warri gas pipeline includes; Ikpokpo, Okpele-Ama, Otogbene, Atanba and others.