…Ogulagha plays host to major Oil Companies yet receives little-Chair
…Shell destroying our fishing nets without compensation -Women Spokesperson
A senior Niger Delta environmental and human rights activist, and co-ordinator Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to compel International Oil Companies, IOCs operating in the Niger Delta to end gas flaring in host communities.
Comrade Mulade, made the remark yesterday in Ogulagha Community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State during an awareness campaign to commemorate the 2017 World Earth Day, stressing that Oil flare and spillages have caused people deadly sicknesses and deaths in the region.
The Environmental Activist who led the campaign along with his team, and support from Ogulagha people, walked through the community carrying placards with varying inscriptions such as: ‘our environment is our heritage, preserve it’; ‘our environment is our future, protect it’; ‘peace is your right, make it happen’; ‘we support modular refinery’; with the host of others.
According to him, the need to call the Federal Government and International Community’s attention to the hazardous oil exploration has become necessary as host communities over the years have been exposed to untold health challenges, noting that he decided to embark on the campaign in Ogulagha community, the traditional headquarter of Ogulagha Kingdom in commemoration of the fifth World Earth Day celebration.
Emphasizing that oil flare and spillages in host communities resulted in militancy and unrest in the region, assuring that if IOCs do the needful, bombings and other illegal activities would be a totally forgotten issue.
While calling on the Federal Government to reinvest the 13% derivation directly on host communities, the Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) Secretary said this would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings in oil producing communities.
Comrade Sheriff also called on the Federal Government to expedite action on its promised modular refinery exercise, stressing that such initiative was in the right direction.
Also corroborating Comrade Sheriff’s line of reasoning, Chairman, Ogulagha community, Capt. Solomon Perebor said gas flare and oil spillages have exposed the people of Ogulagha to many environmental challenges.
The Chairman, who was accompanied by Comrade Sheriff took Journalists round major gas flare spots in the community, pointed out that Oil which ought to be blessing seems to be curse due to the danger it has exposed the the people to, adding that due to Oil exploration, the people could no longer carry out their major occupations, which are fishing and farming.
Capt. Prebor said Ogulagha plays host to major Oil Companies yet receives just little in return, warning that if the injustice continues, the end result might be doom.
He further said due to Oil explorations, Ogulagha has been exposed to flood, which according to him was unbearable whenever it rains.
While calling on his people to end Oil facilities bombing and illegal bunkering, the Chairman advised the Federal Government to settle all cases with High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, stressing that Tompolo has a key role to play in putting an end to illegal activities in the Oil producing communities.
Also speaking, spokesperson of Ogulagha women, Mrs.Victoria Wednesday called on the Federal Government to prevail on Oil Companies to stop destroying their fishing nets and other materials which according to her was their only livelihood without any form of compensation.
While enumerating what she described as evils done by Oil Companies to Journalists, she said countless numbers of their fishing nets have been destroyed by these Oil Companies without any compensation, adding that due to these Oil Companies operations, most of her people’s eyes have been affected badly, noting that many people could no longer read with their eyes.
She lamented that Ogulagha plays host to major Oil Companies, yet they have refused to employ their Children that are graduates, she therefore called on concerned authorities to do the needful before the avoidable happens.