Ogoni: Another Oil Spill in Ogoniland
As the Federal Government continues to perfect moves for the return of Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell, to Ogoniland in Rivers State, to resume oil exploitation activities, an oil spill from one of the company's oil wellheads has devastated another Ogoni community. Impeccable sources told THISDAY at the weekend that the people of K-Dere community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers state went to sleep Friday with all its vicinity filled with crude oil spilled from Shell's Bomu Well-2. It was further gathered that the spill was still on as at 3.05pm yesterday when this report was being compiled.
It was also learnt that the spill occurred a year after a previous one, which Shell came to stop and promised to come back later to do a more thorough work to prevent a reoccurrence, which never happened.
In a chat with newsmen yesterday in Port Harcourt, the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Ledum Mittee, said the spill would definitely have far reaching effects on the people.
According to Mittee who is one of the prominent sons of the area "where this spill is happening is just like 100 meters from a church, attended by people, a school is just about 300 meters away and all round the wellhead are farms, on which active farming is gong on".
He he said the area where the accident occurred is habited and as a result, "the spill will affect their food, water and livelihood sources".
However, in a press statement sent online by the Corporate External Affairs Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Don Boham, confirmed the incident even as he added that the company had mobilised its men to site to curtail the spill.
According to the statement, "a leak has occurred at Bomu Well-2, a dormant well in Ogoni land belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria limited. Crude oil was seen spewing out of the wellhead late Friday, 24 March 2006. The vicinity of the spill is uninhabited.
"We have mobilised our oil spill response and fire service teams to the site, and also taking steps to secure the well and contain the spill. The cause of the spill and quantity of crude involved are yet to be determined.
"The relevant government agencies and community leaders have been informed of the situation and a Joint Investigation Team is due to visit the area", it said.
The company added further that it had stopped producing oil from Ogoni land in 1993