Posted by Vanguard on
CONTROVERSY over the alleged burial of crude oil and debris by the Anglo-Dutch company, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Igbeku and Ejekimoni communities in Sapele local government area of Delta state snowballed, Tuesday, with the reported arrest of some executive members of the communities , including Honourable Edeki by security agents.
ASABA ––CONTROVERSY over the alleged burial of crude oil and debris by the Anglo-Dutch company, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Igbeku and Ejekimoni communities in Sapele local government area of Delta state snowballed, Tuesday, with the reported arrest of some executive members of the communities , including Honourable Edeki by security agents.
Vanguard gathered that the state government might have summoned the company and the affected communities to a meeting of the State Security Council held in Warri, yesterday, to calm down frayed nerves.
But at a meeting in Asaba, Tuesday, on the buried crude and oil stained debris at Sapele local government area presided over by renowned environmentalist and university don, Prof. William Odiete, the stakeholders called for a stop to the harassment of the villagers in the interest of peace.
The meeting attended by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Department of Petroleum Resources, representatives of Igbeku and Ejekimoni communities and environmentalists resolved among other things that: “SPDC and other stakeholders should cooperate with the Commissioner for Environment on the management of the environment of the buried crude and not to make unfortunate insinuations and distractions”.
The communique was signed by Prof. Odiete; legal consultant to Ejikimoni community, G.C. Omamadaga; the community's chairman and three others for the Ejikimoni community. Chiefs W.A.D. Oyo and five others signed for Igbeku community; Akponwine Ovwigho for the Federal Ministry of Environment and others from the Environmental Watch, the Delta State Ministry of Environment and DPR.
The SPDC which did not attend the meeting had earlier denied dumping toxic waste in the community but it was reminded at Tuesday's meeting of its earlier acceptance of culpability by the stakeholders.
In fact, part of the resolutions was that “SPDC be reminded of its earlier commitment in May 2005 to evacuate the crude oil and debris and that the promised date has expired” and “the continued presence of the crude oil and wastes constitute grave danger and thus should be removed immediately and that delay is dangerous”.
A technical committee of stakeholders is also to be properly constituted and empowered to undertake the investigation and assessment including all impacts on human and resources.
The communities pledged in a communique issued at the end of the meeting to be peaceful and law abiding while the Federal Government and state governments put in place modalities to resolve the impasse.
The stakeholders also said that “SPDC and other experts who invited to resolve the impasse should honour all meetings when called to do so”, while “the whole exercise should be governed by the Federal Ministry of Environment and DPR guidelines , standards and regulations”.
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