Ijaws accuse FG of Insensitivity to plight of victims of Nembe oil spill in Bayelsa

Ijaws accuse FG of Insensitivity to plight of victims of Nembe oil spill in Bayelsa

The Ijaw Elders’ Forum (IEF) and the Ijaw Nation Forum (INF) have accused the Federal Government of being insensitive to the plights of communities affected by the recent oil spill at Santa Barbara 1 well in Nembe, Bayelsa State.

The groups said it was surprised that the Federal Government was yet to pay compensation to the affected communities or address the environmental damages arising from the spillage months after it occurred.

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They, therefore, urged the government to commence necessary remedial actions in the affected communities without further delay.

In a statement jointly signed by the Secretary of the IEF, Pastor Efiye Bribena, and the Moderator of the INF, Mr. Ben Amaebi Okoro, the groups reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that the spill occurred over three months ago yet no remedial action had taken place.

“We have not heard or seen any tangible effort from the Federal Government on the restoration of the environment and on payment of compensation to the impacted communities.

“What is the Federal Government doing to assure the impacted communities that they are not left to their fate?” they asked.

Ijaws accuse FG of Insensitivity to plight of victims of Nembe oil spill in Bayelsa
The Aiteo oil well in Nembe

They, therefore, charged the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to use his good offices to decisively address the issue, adding: “As Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and an Ijaw man whose communities are devastated by these repeated spill disasters from grossly unprofessional operations, it is your responsibility to take the necessary actions to decisively address these catastrophes.”

While commending the Bayelsa State government for setting up the technical committee to investigate the cause of the oil spill, they reminded Governor Douye Diri of the need to update the people on what was being done to re-assure them that they were not left to their fate.

They further charged the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to rise to the occasion by lending its voice to the people’s legitimate demand for the payment of compensation to the concerned communities as well as restoration of their environment.