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Group accuses AITEO of Spilling Over 2 Million Barrels of Oil in Bayelsa

 By Inegbagha Majesty

An apex socio-cultural and non-political umbrella organization under the aegis of Nembe Se Congress in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has accused the AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) of spilling over 2 million barrels of crude oil onto the river and devastated the entire environment and means of livelihood of the people. 

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The Chairman of organization, Prof. M. I. Godwin-Egein who disclosed this at a world press conference at NUJ Press Centre, Yenagoa, said the oil spill have already spread through the interwoven network of rivers, creeks and tributaries all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Describing AITEO oil spill disaster as the biggest in the history of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Nigeria, Prof Godwin-Egein decried the attitude of the company toward the disaster.

He pointed out that over a month when the Santa Barbara High Pressure Well Head I, under OML 29 located at Worikumakiri oil spill, in Nembe Local Government Area, had occurred, AITEO did not make any effort to ensure quick capping of the spill thus allowing it devastate the entire environment to the present unbearable magnitude.

The organization which serves as a strong voice in advancing the interest as well as catalyst for the radical transformation of the environment, land and people of Nembe Ethnic nationality, lamented that the oil spill has destroyed the main source of their livelihood and sustenance of the people of Nembe Se, especially Opu-Nembe Kingdom and her adjoining communities.

The organization therefore called on relevant government agencies to compel AITEO to ensure quick and proper capping of the spill and start comprehensive clean-up operations expeditiously, in compliance with global best practices.

It is also appeal to the federal government to carryout immediate Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to the site of the incident and make public the cause of the incident.

 Cognizant of the long term effects of the disaster, the body called for independent investigation to unravel all the issues behind the disaster, with recommendations against future occurrence.

The organization also called for comprehensive remediation programme for the ecosystem to restore the bio-diversity of the affected area. It warned interested parties to avoid playing politics with the lives of the people and the environment by doing the right thing on the incident and eschew serious threat.







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