… Indicts Shell, Chevron, Mobil, Agip and Co.
The activities of International Oil Companies (IOCs) has been described as a crime against Nigerians especially the peoples of the Niger Delta.
This was the submission of Barr. Favour Enuji while appraising the effects of oil exploration in the Niger Delta region. Enuji who is a Delta State based lawyer and Rights Activist, stated that the oil exploration and exploitation activities in the region has left in its trail, agony and death for the innocent inhabitants of the affected towns and villages.
In a statement by the legal practitioner as obtained by Asaba Metro, he said that, “After 60 years since oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria, the incidence of environmental degradation arising from oil spillage has rendered the ecosystem including the rivers toxic and this has led to the death of countless persons. This indiscriminate actions of foreign oil companies is nothing short of an act of provocation and aggression against the inhabitants of the Niger Delta to whom the presence of hydrocarbons has now become a curse.”
“The recent oil spillage which occurred in May 2018 on the 24 inches Trans Ramos crude oil pipelines owned by Shell Petroleum in Odimodi and 50 other communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, left over 25 persons dead and destroyed over 25,000 hectares of farmlands including crops is a case in point. The huge petrodollars being repatriated abroad by these economic terrorists is nothing short of blood money.” Enuji lamented.
He further stated that, coupled with the menace of oil spillage, is the incessant gas flaring which has now led to greenhouse gas emissions as well as a thick cloud of soot overhanging the atmosphere.
“This wanton act of oil spillage and gas spillage is directly responsible for the spread of respiratory related diseases amongst the natives. They can only do this with disdain in Nigeria taking the advantage of a weak or compromised regulatory framework. Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Agip etc for instance, cannot try all these inimical acts in their home countries but when they come to Nigeria, they collude with the operators and run haywire. This must end.”
Barr. Enuji deprecated the unlawful disobedience of these oil companies to the Executive Order issued by the Vice President of Nigeria who about 2 years ago directed the immediate relocation of the headquarters of the oil companies to the Niger Delta region.
“This blatant defiance and contempt for our political leadership and institutions as represented by our Vice President, has serious implications for the sovereignty of this nation. The International Oil Companies by their actions have constituted themselves into a parallel government which cannot operate within the confines and constitution of the Nigerian state. The inexcusable reason of these economic buccaneers is that the Niger Delta region has been so polluted and degraded by the activities of these same IOCs and cannot live there themselves but expect the people whose land, rivers and livelihood has been subjugated to continue to live there. This modern day apartheid and slavery must stop. If the oil companies cannot relocate and live in the Niger Delta region, they should leave this nation in peace.”