BY OBED OLUKU…..
The people of Sokebolou and Yokiri federated communities in Oil rich Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. Have raised alarm over a deadly chemical that is destroying aquatic lives in their waterways by the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
The plight of the people were conveyed through its leaderships in a joint press statement issued to newsmen in Warri earlier today, signed by the duo of Prince Churchill Dose, chairman Sokebolou community and Engr. Moses Ibilou, chairman Yokiri community.
Speaking on behalf of the Oil producing communities of Yokiri and Sokebolou, the duo noted that it was strange as the deadly chemicals being spread by SPDC is wrecking untold havoc on the people, stressing that life is no longer safe in the communities.
According to them, the chemical is killing fishes in the waterways as people from far and near now comes to the Sokebolou/Yokiri waterways to pick fishes killed by the said dangerous chemical spreaded by the SPDC.
Ibilou and Churchill had stated in the press release that SPDC must from the day of this publication stop whatever they are doing with the chemicals in the river then to meet with the federated communities leadership to explain what is really happening in the river.
Speaking on the dangerous nature of the chemical, the chairmen maintained that if such chemical has the power to kill both big and small fishes in very high volume, it potends that life is no longer safe in the communities and its environs.
The statement revealed that the people have been grappling with this dangerous situation within the last seven days, stressing that there is a Jackup Barge bearing Tango, positioned at well 72 & 73, operated by SPDC in the area that is allegedly spreading the strange and hazardous chemical destroying the source of livelihood of the people.
The community leaders stated that since their existence as a people in Ogulagha Kingdom, they have not experience such a life threatening chemical in their waterways, adding that SPDC must not make use of the chemical until proper discussion is brokered by SPDC and the said communities, noting that dead fishes have littered the waterways.
The statement also warned members of the Sokebolou/Yokiri communities not to eat or have anything to do with the dead fishes from the poisonous chemical applied by SPDC into the river, stressing that something that has the capacity to kill fishes instantly in such capacity should be something to be wary of.
Nevertheless, when asked if they have drawn the attention of SPDC officials to the matter, the community chairmen maintained that they have done that as at a particular incidence, SPDC official who came to witness how the fishes are dying came to the scene and also picked fishes for consumption.
“No one knows what the chemical has done to the fishes, we are begging our people not to eat these fishes while as leaders of the communities, we are working hard to ensure that appropriate authorities look into this matter urgently just as we want SPDC to stop using this poisonous chemical in our waterways
“This is really strange, we are no longer safe, if fishes are dying like that, what will happen to humans living in the area.” They feared.
Meanwhile, the chairmen have appealed to the Delta State Government, the commissioner, Oil and Gas, political leaders in the area as well as environmental activists with all those who think well of a better society to swinge into action by stopping what is going on the area.
They insisted that fishing remains the only visible source of livelihood to the people and the massive killing of the aquatic lives remains a great concern to them.