The Bayelsa communities of Koluama 1 and 2 have threatened violence against Chevron Oil Company in Nigeria. Information available to 247ureports.com through a source within the leadership ranks of one of the communities reveal that the leaders in tandem with the youths have resolved to take action against Chevron – for its continued refusal and/or neglect to compensate the shoreline communities of Bayelsa State for the oil spill and gas fire disaster of January 16, 2012.
“We will bring Chevron to their knees”, said on the youth leaders of Koluama 1, who sought anonymity, stated that the community leaders had approached the oil multinational for dialogue over the devastation meted to the ecosystem of the shoreline communities but “they did not even want to hear us”.
The two communities along other affected shoreline communities had been devastated by the Chevron rig explosion on January 16, 2012 – along with the oil spill that followed the explosion. A team of expert dispatched by the federal government of Nigeria to investigate the disaster through aerial photographs of the affected area attested to the extent of damage as being massive – with realistic possibilities of impacting the area negatively, if remediative actions are not implemented. The team also made recommendations to the federal government – of which included – requiring the oil multinational to make cash settlements to the affected communities.
The community intends drafting a final warning letter to the oil multinational where they will give an ultimatum to reach an understanding with the community by December 2012 – or face the consequences. Our source reveals that the community will begin with a violent invasion of some of the Chevron’s offices located in Port Harcourt and Lagos.
It can be recalled that the two communities were hit the hardest by the 46 day gas fire and crude oil spill by Chevron. This is according to the statement of the President of Nigeria, Dr. Jonathan after having visited the affected communities on February 27, 2012. In his statement, he assured the angry youths he will ensure the oil multinational will be held responsible. The Managing Director of Chevron, Andrew Fawthop promised “medical development work” for the area – as remediation against expected illnesses that may result.
The communities have yet to see the promised fulfilled.
A joint petition for compensation had been made – requesting for the following demands:
- [quote type=”medium” align=”right”]
- Cleanup of the entire waterways, creeks and rivers adjoining communities in an environmentally friendly way to free it of any trace of crude oil;
- A full and comprehensive disclosure of all the facts and circumstances of this spill including the cause, the number of barrels of crude oil spilled, the volume of gas released into the atmosphere and the condition of the gas well among others.
- The payment of the sum of N2billion to each community for the untold damages suffered.
- The payment of the sum of N1billion to each of the community for inconveniences, injurious affection and loss of income.
- Because of the urgency of this matter, we also demand that our demands be met within 7 days of their receipt of our letter.
Chevron has yet to respond to the petition letter.
But the Managing Director of Chevron, in a June 28, 2012 statement to the press mentioned that an independent panel will be set up and charged with the assessment of the damage to the community. The independent committee is to comprise of – NNPC, Chevron, Bayelsa State government, DPR, NOSDRA, NGOs and Regional Development Communities. The finding of the panel has yet to be made public. It is uncertain the extent the panel investigated the damage.
Attempt to reach the Bayelsa State government failed to field a response. Calls and text messages placed to the media assistant to the governor, Daniel Iworiso’s phone were not answered or acknowledged.