Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has lamented the impact of the recent Bonga oil spill on some communities in Delta State and across the Niger Delta states. Governor Uduaghan has therefore called on Shell to give full disclosure of the impact and extent of damage of the spill.
He said while this is not the time for buck passing as is gradually happening over the washing up of the spilled oil on the shores of the coastal communities, whose marine life and therefore economic wellbeing are deeply threatened, he expects Shell to take steps to ensure adequate cleanup and compensation for the communities affected.
Governor Uduaghan dismissed claims by Shell that the spill was contained before spreading as not being supported by hard evidence of what is happening in Ogulaha, Beniboye and Okuntu in Delta State and Orobiri, Odiama and Aggeh communities in Bayelsa State, which have experienced the impact of the spilled oil.
Governor Uduaghan reminded Shell that BP took steps to act in cleaning up and compensating those affected by its large scale spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago and does not think the Niger Delta environment should be different.
Governor Uduaghan further called on the federal government through its agencies, NOSDRA and NIMASA to ensure that full remedial measures are taken to restore the environment and to mitigate further damage.
According to Governor Uduaghan, “shortly before Christmas it was reported that a blow out occurred leading to spill in the Bonga oil field. Recent events now show that my fear of the spill spreading to the shores as a likely consequence has occurred. Although Shell claims that its containment of the spill was successful, reports before me from communities indicate otherwise.
“My position is that this is not the time to avoid responsibility on this issue. Shell should step forward and follow the examples of BP which had similar experience and acted responsibly. Delta state will follow closely what happens in those communities and demands that necessary action be taken to restore the environment back to the people.”