A fresh oil spill has been reported in Ogoni. The spill which occurred on Friday, August 18, 2023 was detected following oil leaks from a pipeline in Bodo community, Gokana local government area of Rivers State. The precise cause of the pipeline failure which caused the spill has not been determined and the operators of the pipeline, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, were yet to make an official statement on the spill.
Information from the community says the spill occurred on Friday, August 18, 2023. Community sources also confirm that the spill was promptly contained after it was reported.
President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke confirmed the incident this morning and expressed worries over the frequency of oil spill occurrences in the Ogoni region.
Nsuke said “the frequency of oil spills in the Ogoni area raises questions about the integrity of oil assets in the entire NIger Delta region.”
While commending the prompt response from the operators of the pipeline, Shell, he demanded an unbiased investigation into the cause of the spill.
“We understand the spill has been contained and that the containment was prompt and averted serious pollution and the environmental problems that came with similar spills. That is commendable. However, we will expect a transparent and speedy investigation into the spill to enable a proper response that can avert similar cases in future”.
The MOSOP leader further called on the Bodo community to cooperate with repair works and remediation efforts if and when they are initiated.
“I will urge the Bodo community to cooperate with efforts to repair the pipeline as well as any remediation efforts if and when they are initiated. I will urge tolerance, as usual, to allow them to fix the pipelines for our collective safety” .
“We do not think they will do anything extraordinary which could jeopardize the safety of residents and we believe Shell’s presence in this instance will be to fix the faulty pipeline and that should be in our interest. I urge everyone to cooperate with that process and be very vigilant”, he said.
Recall that since August 2022,, at least 5 oil spills have occurred in Bodo alone. This is the first that will be contained before any major damage is caused. The impact of this spill has been reported to be minimal and the community dwellers also acknowledge that it is the most contained amongst the recent spills in Bodo.
The Ogoni people led by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has led over three decades of resistance against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Shell, over years of unacceptable oil drilling operations which left the Ogoni lands polluted.
The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, was commissioned to investigate the oil spills and reports unprecedented levels of pollution including water contamination exceeding acceptable standards by some 800 percent.
Some polluted sites in Ogoni have been unaddressed for over 55 years with attendant consequences including high death rates and deteriorating health conditions.