A Niger Delta Non-Government Organization, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), has condemned in strong terms the attack on Forcados Terminal, a facility of Shell Petroleum Development Company by a shadowy militant group, resulting in the spilling of about 35,000 barrels of crude.
The NGO described the dastard act as uncalled for given the dire economic situation in the country and urged the federal government to beef up security around oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region.
This is contained in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade and made available to newsmen in Warri, the commercial nerve center of Delta State.
It also advised security agents to unmask the brains behind the heinous crime and bring them to face the full wrath of the law, stating that no group can hold the country to ransom for no unjustifiable reason and go scot-free.
The Center decried the adverse effects of oil spills on the environment, stating that it would take several years to remediate the area devastated by the spills to its pristine nature.
‘’We sympathize with Shell over this attack. The harmful effects of oil spills on our environment cannot be over-emphasized. We therefore call on the company to move fast to contend the spread of the spills by adopting sound environmental best practices. We equally advise that obsolete equipment should be scrapped and embrace environmental friendly facilities in their operations.
‘’We make bold to reiterate that the over 50 years of oil exploration and exploitation activities in the Niger Delta region have only brought untold hardship to the people.
‘’The livelihoods of many of our people in the coastal areas have been wiped out even as some communities have been swallowed by ocean surge occasioned by unbridled pollution.
‘’We all know that oil spills pose serious threats to fresh water and marine environments. It affects surface resources and a wide range of subsurface organisms that are linked in a complex food chain that includes human food resources. This is why we call on the firm to act as we understand that the spill is spreading very fast to Bayelsa State.
’’The NGO called on the communities hosting oil and gas facilities not to harbor pipeline vandals in their domains, suggesting that the community people need strong orientation to know the effect and danger of pollution caused by spills.