Nigeria

Bayelsa assembly bicker over gas leakage in Sangana

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed a three-point resolution calling on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), to as a matter of urgency, send relief materials and medical aid to Sangana community in Brass Local Government Area of the state over gas leakage in the area.

The lawmakers in a resolution over the weekend called on National Assembly members representing Bayelsa State to bring the issue on the floor of both chambers as a matter of urgent public importance.

They also implored the state and the federal government to intervene in order to save lives by relocating the inhabitants of Sangana community to a safer area.

The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Hon. Dr Charles Daniel representing Brass Constituency one, over the recent gas leak, which has seriously affected the livelihood and health of the people, predominantly farmers and fishermen prompting many of them to leave in droves.

Meanwhile, days after the gas leakage, the management of Conoil producing limited, owners of the Adriatic facilities in OML 59 have kept mum over the incident.

The action of Conoil has drawn the ire of the state coordinator of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoEN), Mr Morris Alagoa who expressed concern over the disturbing posture of Conoil on the incident.

“That there is no reaction from Conoil since the incident apart from the evacuation of workers from the facility is disturbing. There is no public statement, no visible signs at the facility and environment that anybody is taking steps to contain the situation and bring the continuing toxic gas leakage to a stop. This is unacceptable, considering the fact that it is raw gas that is spewing into the marine ecosystem and atmosphere and this is inimical to the environment in terms of the health of humans and aquatic lives”.

“The fact that even NOSDRA seems powerless goes to confirm regulatory capture and this is not acceptable. Oil industry operators cannot self-regulate, But politicians shouldn’t play politics with pollution matters. This cannot affect only Sangana in the Akassa kingdom; other communities in the kingdom are likely to be affected too. Besides, our politicians shouldn’t play politics with matters of pollution. Sangana is not the only community most likely to be impacted both in terms of health and fishing; other communities in Akassa kingdom like Oginbiri, Opu Okumbiri, Okumbiribeleu, Minibie, Mini Amgba and Kongho may be affected; including others in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.”

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