Port Harcourt - A pressure group, Conference of Niger Delta Youths Representatives
(CNDYR) has called on the Federal Government to compel Shell Petroleum
Development Company (SPDC) to clean-up oil spills in five states.
The group’s Chairman, Johnson Harry, made the call in an interview with
the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of its 2013 annual
conference in Port Harcourt.
Harry claimed that SPDC and Exxon Mobil were responsible for oil spills
in five states -- Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Rivers states.
Harry said that both companies had yet to commence a clean-up of the
areas as well as pay compensation to victims affected by the oil spillage.
“The Shell-Bonga oil spills, which destroyed human and economic
activities in the five states is yet to be addressed despite several
calls by the group.
“Since Dec. 20, 2011 when the spill occurred, economic activities have
been at the lowest ebb because fishermen can no longer find fishes
and farmers can no longer farm or harvest their crops.
“FG should compel SPDC to clean up the environment and compensate victims as
well as force Exxon Mobil to pay victims compensation for Idoho oil
“The group will issue copies of our demands to the Presidency, Federal
Ministries of Petroleum, Environment and the National Assembly, to ensure
that these companies remedy the situation.”
Harry said that CNDYR, in collaboration with the Civil Liberties
Organisation, would seek court's redress, if their demands were not
met within two weeks.
Also, the Vice-Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in Akwa
Ibom, David Akpakpan, told NAN that oil bearing communities in the Niger
Delta had yet to benefit from crude oil sales.
He claimed the region faced shortage of infrastructure, youth unemployment
and empowerment, poverty and wide scale corruption.
“The corruption in the region is massive because funds meant for meaningful
projects that will improve the living standard of people of the region are
diverted by greedy politicians.
“The Federal Government should set up a team that will be saddled with the
responsibility of monitoring utilisation of public funds, to fast track
the regions development,” he said.
Akpakpan called on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill
into law, stressing that the passage of the bill would speed up development of
the Niger Delta.
A copy of the communique made available to NAN by the group
stated its endorsement of the proposed National Conference and speedy
passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The group also endorsed 50 per cent derivation for states in the Niger
Delta, construction of Ibaka sea port and recognition of the
Oro community in Akwa Ibom as an oil bearing community, among others.