IYC alleges gas explosion as residents flee Bayelsa community
Issues 24-hr ultimatum to Conoil
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has warned against fire outbreak in a Bayelsa community, following alleged explosion at a facility operated by Conoil Producing Limited. The IYC said the company’s Anglo oilfields four and five was involved in the explosion, which occurred around Koluama community in Southern Ijaw Local Council Area of Bayelsa State,
The Chairman of the IYC, Central Zone, Mr. Tare Porri, disclosed this at a press conference in Yenagoa yesterday.Porri, a lawyer said all attempts to reach the management of the company to remedy the situation had proved abortive.
The youths gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the company to halt the spread of the highly inflammable product and also begin a remediation process.He disclosed that the company has not responded to the explosion, which occurred two days ago.
According to the IYC, residents of the area have been fleeing their homes to avoid a possible fire outbreak.He said the tension in the predominantly fishing community has raised some health and environmental concerns.
The Guardian leant that the fleeing residents are worried that the entire Koluama community could be consumed by fire, if urgent steps are not taken.It was further leant that the state government has been in court over a similar explosion, which occurred in 2013 in an oilfield belonging to Chevron Nigeria. It is feared that other adjourning communities could also be at risk, making fishing and farming almost impossible in the affected areas.
Porri added: “It is our firm conviction that if nothing is done within this period, Ijaw youths would have no other choice than to vent their anger at the company’s operational site.” He disclosed that the IYC leadership had informed the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) in the state.
He said the leakage has destroyed the environment and damaged the ecosystem to make endanger the livelihood of the people, which is fishing.“The entire waterways have been contaminated and residents of the affected communities do not have what it takes to clean up the environment,” the youth leader added.The IYC expressed concerns that most of the pipelines used for gas and crude oil operation in the area had expired and require urgent replacement.
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