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Fresh oil spill rattles Rivers community – The Guardian


A fresh oil spill has occurred in Bodo City in Gokana Local Government Area (Ogoni) of Rivers State.

It was gathered that the spill, which occurred on Thursday, July 4, around 12:45am in the Sugi area of Bodo community very close to where multiple oil spills had occurred in recent times on the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited was caused by equipment failure.

A resident of the community, whose home is located very close to the spill site, said a loud blast was heard around 12:45am.

Confirming the incident, a community-based environmental advocacy group, the Eco Defence Alliance, said it has lost count of oil spill incidents in Bodo City.

Executive Director of the group, Damian Gbogbara, decried incessant spill in Ogoni land, wondering why relevant authorities have failed to proffer a permanent solution to the menace.

He said: “A new oil spill has been reported again in Bodo City in Gokana Local Government Area (Ogoni) of Rivers State months after many other multiple crude oil spills have occurred along the pipeline but at different locations, among many others, over the years.

“It is not funny to hear that Bodo is a community with the highest number of crude oil spills that the world has ever recorded in human history.”

Gbogbara, however, urged relevant authorities to exercise caution in the quest to find out the cause of the spill and subsequently fix it to avoid any crisis in the community.

Gbogbara added: “Again, there is the need for transparency in the whole process, from constituting the JIV team to its implementation and its final result to avoid any form of crisis as witnessed the other time.

“The JIV report will help to hold the companies to account and also serve as evidence-based documents for possible litigation on the ecosystem destruction, and save the fragile Bodo, Ogoniland and Niger Delta environment, especially with the ongoing clean up exercise by the Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI), beside the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) coordinated clean up gearing up to start in the area.

“Eco Defence Alliance, therefore, calls on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to immediately embark on a joint investigation visit (JIV) with Shell and other relevant stakeholders to the spill site in Sugi Area of Bodo City and not to delay like it has always been doing.”

He warned against any attempt to manipulate the JIV process and its outcome.

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