Oil spill: Tension as Bayelsa community protests, accuses Shell of neglect

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The people of Bakiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have embarked on a peaceful demonstration against the alleged neglect and indifference by an oil major, Shell Petroleum Development Company.

The indigenes lamented that over two months since oil spill from the oil multinational’s pipeline polluted their creeks, the company had yet to come to their aid.

Women, backed by men and youths, on Friday, went on a peaceful demonstration around the community, lamenting that since the spill occurred, Shell had neither sent relief materials nor a medical team to care for the health challenges posed by the incident.

The Paramount Ruler of the community, King Austin Desiken, said the oil spill had subjected his community members to untold hardship with Shell allegedly feeling unconcerned.

He said that the affected communities had written to Shell through their representative in the House of Representatives, Mr. Fred Agbedi, and the state government, but nothing had been done.

The monarch said, “Everyone, including Shell, knows that fishing is our only source of livelihood. Today, that one source of living has been destroyed by Shell who is doing its own business.

“The incident happened since May 17, 2018, that is two months and some weeks now, and still counting, no relief materials or medical team has been sent to us.

“We can’t go to our creeks and fish anymore. All our fishes have died. If you go to the community’s health centre now you will see our children there that are sick as a result of the chemicals we have inhaled from the crude. All our domestic animals have died.

“I want to state categorically that Shell has no excuse for what they are doing to us right now. It is sheer wickedness because Shell has confirmed to us that the spill that occurred was as a result of equipment failure.

“We want to tell the government of Nigeria and the whole world that Shell has devised a new strategy to wipe us away from the earth. We are dying.” Punch

 

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