Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri, on Monday, expressed his surprise over the silence of the House of Representatives on the recent oil spill in the Nembe local government area of the state.
The massive spillage, which occurred on November 5 at the OML 26 Wellhead 1 facility operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited on the Santa Barbara River, lasted more than a month before it was stopped.
Governor Diri spoke when he received the House Committee On Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring during a courtesy visit to the government house, Yenagoa.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that there is nowhere in the world an oil spill would last for over a month and the people’s representatives would be silent.
He said: “I like to observe that as a part of you, the vibrancy I used to see in the House appears to be extinguishing. Please, let that spirit be revived.”
“I stand by what I said during the period of the oil spill. There is nowhere in the world an oil spill of such magnitude will occur and the legislators would be silent. I drew a parallel with the oil spill ten years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Here in the creeks of Bayelsa, we had a gushing oil spill for more than one full month and there was a loud silence from my own constituency, the Green Chamber. So, let us revive that vibrancy again.”
Diri asserted that one does not have to be a Bayelsan to raise a motion on the spill, likening it to Boko Haram insurgency and banditry ravaging the North which every member had raised motions to see to its end.
The governor commended the robust partnership between the state and the Simbi Wabote-led Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), which he said is the only functional federal presence within the state capital of Yenagoa.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Legor Idagbo, said the legislators were in the state on oversight duties on the NCDMB.
He expressed satisfaction over the fruitful interactions with the Board.
Idagbo stressed that it is their constitutional responsibility and part of their legislative function to strengthen the NCDMB and sponsor bills in line with current realities.
According to him, one of such bills is to expand local content beyond oil and gas to every other sector of the Nigerian economy.
He commended Governor Diri for his partnership with the NCDMB by providing infrastructure at the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre project, for ensuring peace and stability at the board’s headquarters and at every of its other project sites in the state.