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Major Oil Spill In Nigeria

Media Fails To Hush 600,000

by Peace Point Action


Press release from Peace Point Action titled ‘Fresh Oil Spill Recorded in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State,’ reads as follows:

Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the Nigerian unit of ExxonMobil has recorded yet another oil spill in its operation in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The spill occurred Sunday 29th June, 2014 which the community estimates it at over 15 thousand barrels discharged to the Atlantic coastline. The spill according to community source was first noticed by fisher men who went for fishing that night. Peace Point Action a member organization of National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND) reports from the scene that the spill is traced to Exxon Mobil equipment failure behind the QIT Terminal which impacted negatively on the coastline creating untold hardship to the community members who depend solely on the sea for their sustenance.

Koko-Mime, a fish seller who also serves as Women Leader, Inua Eyen Ikot said, “The spill have broken down our business as customer do not even care to come for fish this morning as they used to buy every day since they know that the spill killed all the fishes in the sea, the fishermen will not bring fish for us to dry and sell. Feeding our children is now a problem”

Fishermen reported to us this morning at about 4 am that they discovered large quantity of oil floating all over the sea as they were fishing and their nets pinched by the tick volume of oil”. Inyang Atabop Said.

Mr. Atabop who is the current Vice Chairman, Ibeno President forum who also serve as youth President, Esuk Ikim Ekeme community went further to state that there are pending oil spill compensation yet to be paid to the community by Exxon Mobil, now another one has occurred. “Who will fight for us as Mobil now came up with new English called ‘Palliative’ which the community youths do not know the meaning”. He pleaded the relevant bodies like NOSDRA and the State Ministry of Environment to come to their aid by compelling Exxon Mobil to pay compensation to the community members as compensation usually follows whenever oil spills occurs. He said as youth leaders, it’s their responsibility to ensure orderliness within the community especially at this critical period but Mobil should not use this as an opportunity to work against us.

Another youth in the community who simply gave her name as Glory said, “God will not allow Mobil to force our youths into militancy before they listened to us” She decried the frequent oil spills occurrences in the community.

Mr. John David who was opportune to had attended Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) training organized by NACGOND said, “In all the reported oil spills in Ibeno and other oil producing LGAs in the State, Mobil never carry out JIV, all what they do is to employ community youths and pay them five thousand naira each to clean up the mess”.  He traced the source of the spill to a damaged Exxon Mobil tank just behind their office at QIT. According to him, some law enforcement officers visited the community this morning (29th June, 2014) and pleaded us to remain calm.

Mr John also said the youths earlier contacted Mr. Paul Orinze, Exxon Mobil Manager via mobile phone who acknowledged the situation and also promised that Mobil will forward acceptance letter to the Local Government Chairman soonest.

Godwin Ikot, Youth Leader of Okom Ita community told Peace Point Action reporter: “Our fishermen are left with no other alternative as they cannot fish under this condition.”

Let Mobil tell us what to do now that we don’t have what to feed on, our land is polluted, all the fishes killed” Mrs. Eka said.

However, there were large deposits of crude oil found on the sea surface and shoreline as well as died fishes killed as a result of the spill. 

Mr. Eno-Obong Enyine, a fisherman said, “The fishes I came back with were all killed as the oil soaked my fishing net, I have no fish to go home with” He complained that Mobil uses helicopter to spray harmful chemical that easily mixed the spilled oil with water which according to him the chemical is harmful to human being. He solicits Government to bring relief materials to the affected community members. 

The situation took a new dimension on Monday, 30th July, 2014 as the community youths took to the street on a peaceful demonstration demanding oil spill compensation from Mobil. All roads leading to Mobil facilities at QIT were block as at 8am to 5pm when the angry youths went dispersed to watch the Nigeria/ France World cup match promising to reconvene early next day until they achieve their demand.

 Peace Point Action urges Mobil to commence immediate environmental cleanup in affected communities and also pay full compensation to the community members in all the spills recorded within the area so far. NOSDRA and the State Ministry of Environment should ensure that Mobil complies with oil spill regulations and safety standards in their operations in the State.


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Topics: Environment
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