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 OML30: Tension as Delta community gives Heritage, others 24 hours to act or shutdown of oil facility

OML30: Tension as Delta community gives Heritage, others 24 hours to act or shutdown of oil facility


Yeye community in Iduwini Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and other communities under the auspices of Forum Of Heritage Oil Spill Impacted Communities in OML 30 has given 24 hours to Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited and the Delta State Government to immediately address lingering issues or face the shutdown of Chanomi East and West Manifolds.

This was made known to newsmen yesterday by residents of the area during a massive protest by youths and women, demanding for a fair treatment on the part of the oil companies.

When asked on the reason for the protest, the protesters who appears to be speaking in one tone maintained that since 2017, there was an oil spillage that occurred in the area, a facility operated by Heritage but noted that years after, the company is yet to clean up the environment nor send relief materials as in the case of other areas, neigther the payment of compensation of any kind to the impacted communities.
Some of the placards brandished during the protest reads “Heritage pay us our compensation money; Heritage, NPDC, Shoreline pay us our money; We can’t continue like this; Heritage Oil, we are suffering, Government come to our aid, Heritage Oil clean our environment, we are dying of environmental pollution”.
In tears and in deep pains, the predominantly women protesters decried the high level of neglect meted out on them by the oil companies, stressing that they are also human beings that needed to be cartered for by the oil companies and the government.
Mrs Sorona Messiah, one of the female prosters who addressed the press noted that the oil spill has affected the area negatively, adding that the river has been overtaken by crude oil as fishing is no longer flourishes, “We are really suffering, Heritage must not continue to treat us like this, we don’t have any other option than to embark on this protest to let the world know about our predicament”. Sarona asserted.

On her part, oldest in the midst of the protesting women, Mrs Roslyn Ayawei hammered on the barrages of hardship inflicted on residents of the area by the oil spill and the apparent deaf ears paid to the demands of the people.

Narating her predicament, Mrs Ayawei noted that the river has been heavily polluted by crude oil, fishing is no longer lucrative owing to the spill and she could barely train her children to school, revealling that life has become terrible, terrific and terrifying.

Ayawei had particularly called on Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited to urgently commence payment of the said compensation and clean up of the entire environment.

Burutu Mozu, Yeye Community youth president general, speaking on behalf of the youths had warned that the protest was a warning, stressing that the next action will be to shutdown the Chanomi East and West Manifolds if at the end of 24 hours Heritage, other companies and the government fails to address the alleged lingering issues.

In his words: “This spill has happened long ago, we want them to pay us our money, clean up our environment, if this is not done within the next 24 hours, our next coming is that we are going to shutdown the manifolds.”

Mozu continued, “Our original plan was to shutdown the manifold because we no longer trust even our community leadership on this matter, we will still give 24 hours grace due to the intervention of security operatives in the area and that of the Yeye community leadership.” Mozu stated.

Chairman Yeye community, Pst. Phillip Fianka has appealed to the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited, other companies and the government not to disappoint him in addressing this issue before the said 24 hours, stressing that he is already in a hot seat as his people are suspecting him of conniving with Heritage and others to their disadvantage.

“Since 2017, we have tried all possible means to reach out to them but Heritage has refused to listen to our plea, lots of spill has happened, without the help of the military, the manifold would have been shutdown, as peace makers, we quickly rush down to quell this uproar, if it persist, we cannot hold them back again after the said 24 hours. I am appealing to the youth and women wings to please remain calm.” Pst. Fianka stated .

It was learnt that the spill affected over 20 communities in the area as they are all crying for justice.

Meanwhile, on the economic implication of the Chanomi East and West Manifolds, residents had stated that if the manifolds are shutdown, it will gravely affect the oil revenue of Delta State and the country at large as it is a major oil transporting line.

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