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Group accuses Aiteo over poor response to Nembe Oil spill



Abayomi Adedinni

The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has berated Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company over alleged poor response to the Nov. 5 spill from its oilfields in Nembe, Bayelsa State.

The group noted that it was wrong for Aiteo to attribute the wellhead leak within its oil bloc in the Nembe creeks to sabotage when a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) had not been conducted on the incident.

The President of INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, said these while briefing newsmen following a visit to the impacted site by its team of environmentalists.

Aiteo, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Matthew Ndiana, had asserted that sabotage was suspected to have caused the leak.

But Okaba faulted Aiteo’s position on sabotage, saying it was capable of jeopardising the outcome of the JIV that is yet to be carried out as crude is still leaking from the facility.

“First and foremost, we want to express our dismay over the position of Aiteo that the oil spill was caused by sabotage. The INC considers this position as prejudicial and pre-emptive, and it is unacceptable.

“Since the leak occurred, Aiteo has been complaining that it does not have the capacity to mobilise personnel to clamp the leaking point on the facility.

“So the question is: without the JIV, how did they come up to ascertain that it is caused by sabotage?” Okaba asked.

The INC leader called on the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to live up to its responsibility and not compromise on the incident.

“The place is still leaking, it is of a peculiar nature because it is not from the pipeline. It is coming from the flow under, to the extent that it is difficult for any living being to even access the spot of damage.

“It requires high technology,” he said.

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