Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Some communities affected by oil spills in Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, may soon have cause to cheer following a recent fact finding visit by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Host Communities, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor, led members of the committee on the visit.
The visit was in response to petition written by the affected communities in June, 2021 to the National Assembly
Dekor later led representatives of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as well as chiefs and traditional rulers from the affected communities to visit the hydrocarbon impacted shorelines of the affected communities.
Some of the impacted sites visited include: Kpogbaa in Bomu, Bon Mbabari Asakpugi, Bon Tamana, Bon Tigara, Bon Kolore, Bon Legbaa, Bon Dukori and Naadube, all in Kpor Community of Gokana Local Government Area of the State.
While briefing journalists after the visit, Dekor said the committee was in the area based on a petition to the National Assembly in June 2021.
The House Committee Chairman said the team traversed the communities and their waters and, had an eye contact as well as the claims from the two communities which had to do with the purported spills from a facility owned by Shell which has been on since 2008.
“We just came to verify and try to see if there is any linkage in their claims. That’s why members of this committee are here.
“Those from the committee and those from Shell are all here, so that they will all have direct contact with what the claims are. We have come and we have seen”, he said, adding that the committee would send its report to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Rt. Hon. Dekor said both the affected communities and SPDC have seen things for themselves, assuring that whatever would be the outcome, would be appreciated by all parties.
“We want to also thank members of the communities for not taking laws into their hands. We also want to thank the SPDC for cooperating to the extent that they have come here today. I think so far, all is well and good”, he said.
Dekor, a former Deputy Speaker in the Rivers State House of Assembly appealed to the people of the Niger Delta to support Governor Nyesom Wike’s fight against the illegal oil bunkering and illegal artisanal refineries to curb the frightening level of pollution and its health hazards in the region.
The Chairman of Gokana Local Government Area, Hon. Confidence Deko, in his speech called for thorough remediation, and adequate compensation.
The SPDC was represented by Sir Igo Nwele on the fact-finding mission.
In their separate interviews, the Paramount Ruler of Kpor Community, Mene Avalobari and the Spokesperson of Bomu Community, Sir Dominic Legono Saata, demanded for total clean-up, remediation to restore the environment and compensate for the affected communities.