*urges firm to put out Opuekeba Wellhead fire
By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
Perturbed with the fire outbreak at Opuekeba Flow-station wellhead in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, a Niger Delta born environmentalist and peace advocate, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has called on American oil giants, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), to act now for the safety of the people in the host communities and their neighbours.
Comrade Mulade noted that people in Tsekelewo, Opuama communities and their environs are in grave danger of losing their homes and environment to the avoidable fire outbreak from Chevron oil well head which, according to him, has degenerated into destructive and life threatening incidents.
The renowned environment advocate who made the appeal Sunday in Koko, headquarters of Warri north local government area of the state, tasked the multinational oil company to adopt and adhere strictly to international environment best practices and put out the fire urgently to save the people from terminal diseases.
He said It is regrettable and debilitating to see International Oil Companies (IOCs) carry out environmentally destructive oil and gas exploration and related activities in the Niger Delta region, alleging that they are deliberately exploiting the people for profits against the safety of the environment where they are making money, as they always take advantage of Nigeria’s weak environmental policies and bad governance to continually ruin the region’s ecosystem
Comrade Mulade also called for prompt action that would end the neglect of the environment by the Federal and State Governments.
He lamented that “the weak policy on environment by the government was giving impetus to oil companies to destroy our sources of livelihood and survival”, adding that it was out of place for the people to suffer various forms of hardship and deprivation, while the few in power and the oil business people who should speak against these vices, keep mute because they have their interests to protect.
He noted that as a human rights crusader, he owes the citizens the duty to fight for objective policies, saying that we must rise above sentiments and fight against this neglect which our unborn generations would inherit and may wonder what their forbears did to protect their God-given habitats.