…Says Oil Exploration Killing Ijaw People.
Worried by the deliberate destruction of aquactic lives and incessant death of the people of his jurisdiction, Catholic Bishop of Bomadi Diocese, Hyacinth Egbebo MSP, has called on the Federal Government and Oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to put into consideration the life and well being of the indigenes where they carry out oil exploration.
Bishop Egbebo who was reacting to the devasting effects of oil spill in the region, noted that the entire water ways, aquactic lives and the health of those living in the area has been endangered due to toxic waste from crude oil and other chemicals used in drilling.
The Bishop while making case for Asamabri-Trofani, Patani, Bomadi-Ogriagbene, Agori-Agge communities, River Forcados and its tributaries, said after a tour of the communities mentioned, the claim by the locals that activities of oil companies had made miserable to them was confirmed, owing to the fact that activities of large vessels, barges and oil companies have destroyed fishing nets, canoes and polluted the water thereby making life miserable and difficult to them as their major occupation is fishing.
He said barges and vessels conveying crude oil to the Agge community which is situated by the deep sea, often pollute the water with crude oil.
The cleric noted such crude oil kills all aquatic organisms which is the livelihood of the people and also has hazardous health effects on them as they depend on same water for drinking, cooking and bathing.
He blamed the the oil companies for insensitivity, adding that because they are aware of the hazardous effects of their oil activities, they shield themselves from being stopped by locals by surrounding themselves with armed military personnel whose presence they use to intimidate the indigenes.
The Catholic Bishop stated that it is injustice and sin to abandon the people of Agge community were vessels and barges habour to lift crude oil, and queries if such a place is not good for a sea port.
He expressed his fears and worries over the unnecessary destruction taking place in his jurisdiction and appealed to the federal government and the oil companies responsible for this, to stop the killing of his people which he alleged are dying slowly.
From our findings on our tour to verify these claims, they are true and authentic facts. People can’t fish anymore, canoes are destroyed 24/7, erosions cause by barges of oil companies carrying crude oil, gasoline etc to Agge deep sea for over 15yrs. Vessels or oil tanker ships haboured at Agge community river receiving these items, making lives miserable and killing the people slowly with oil spills all over the river. These barges are protected by armed gun boats oppressing the citizens in the area. This style spins to Bayelsa state as well.
However, Agge community where these are going on, is situated by the deep sea.
THE SILLY QUESTION
IF A SHIP OF THAT MAGNITUDE CAN HABOUR AT AGGE COMMUNITY, WHY IS THERE NO SEA PORT?
His Lordship, Most Rev Dr Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo (MSP), the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bomadi is highly worried over the unnecessary destruction taking place in his jurisdiction. He is appealing to the government and the oil companies responsible to stop killing his people slow and steady.