Ravaging oil spillage in Tsekelewu (Polobubo) Communities, Warri North council area of Delta state has left Pa Anthony Ebiogbo dead and many others, including infants, hospitalised.
President of Polobubo Bloc of Communities, Mr. Paul Toruwei, in a Save Our Soul (SOS) message to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, said the spill was noticed early hours of Sunday, March 14.
According to the SOS, the spill is from a ruptured major crude oil pipeline from the Opuama flow station which is under oil mining lease (OML) 40, said to be operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/Elcrest E&P Joint Venture.
The President, who lamented the “devastating effects of the spill on all water bodies and swamp forest of the communities” in the company’s operational area which includes Opuama, Polobubo and their bloc/satellite communities, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently save the people from recording more deaths and further harm.
Toruwei said the incident has caused sorrow and anguish among residents, disclosing that the deceased who is from Opuama community, died as a result of gas inhaled from the crude oil spillage.
Economic activities have been grounded. As a matter of fact, throughout Sunday, March 14, 2021 residents couldn’t cook their food due to fear of fire outbreak as a result of gas exudates from the said pipeline, that enveloped the whole vicinity,” the community’s president stated.
Pictures of the late Pa Ebiogbo, sick persons, including infants, hundreds of dead fishes, as well as the crude oil infected water bodies were made available to The Nation.
The statement called on relevant authorities to prevail on management of NPDC/ELCREST to immediately commence remedial actions to contain further spread of the spillage as well as provide medical care, food, water and other necessities in order to save the lives of residents who have been denied their source of livelihoods.
It also tasked the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Ministry of Environment to activate the process of joint investigation (JIV) “to ascertain the cause of spillage, send relief materials immediately and make arrangements to compensate the affected communities”.