Youths from communities in Ibeno local council of Akwa Ibom and officials of oil giants ExxonMobil officials have disagreed on an alleged spill which occurred in the area in April last year.
Nigerian Pilot reports that while the youths have insisted that the spill occurred from an ExxonMobil facility, the company has maintained that the spill was neither their product nor from any of their facilities.
The youths numbering more than 2,000 yesterday protested against the inability of oil giants ExxonMobil to conduct a thorough clean up exercise and pay compensation for the spills that affected Mkpanak and surrounding communities in Ibeno.
The youths who chanted war songs blocked the entrance to ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe Terminal with banners demanding for a thorough clean up and compensation for the spills which occurred since 2014.
Amidst heavy police presence the youths came with banners carrying inscriptions as “Abasi Ulok Ulok Aye Aye’’, “On behalf of the good people of Ibeno the most peaceful oil community in the Niger Delta Region’’, “It is on record that ExxonMobil crude oil spills in our community on the following days’’, “15th Dec. 2014, “28th Feb. 2015, 10th April 2015, 27th April 2015’’.
A spokesman of the youths, Mr. Eratus Afia, who explained that all the spills occurred from Exxon Mobil facility in the area, recounted how the health of residents and the economy of the area have suffered due to the spills.
“What we are asking ExxonMobil is simple, come and clean up the oil spill from our community so that our community will be free from hazards. Oil spill is dangerous to health. We don’t even have good water because our waters have been polluted by oil spill,’’ he lamented.
“We the youth’s leaders in Ibeno took our time to write to ExxonMobil to come and clean up the environment, they refuse to acknowledged our letters.
“All the crude oil that is going down the drain on daily basis, has affected our farm land.
Here in Ibeno we can’t plant anything because the whole lands have been taken by oil spill.’’ Afia explained.
He stated that despite a promise from the company to do a clean up within one week nothing was done adding that incessant oil spill in the area have continued to deprive the fishermen in the area of their daily source of income.
“Our aquatic life’s have gone we can’t plant and fish any more, and ExxonMobil have not being given us the employment slot they have been given us initially.’’ he said.
But ExxonMobil officials who confirmed the protest however explained that the spill was not produced oil or liquid from any of their facility according to a statement endorsed by Oge Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications
“ExxonMobil confirm demonstration by youths related to a sighting of intermittent patches of oil based substance along the shoreline of Ibeno beach east of the Qua Iboe Terminal on the evening of April 11, 2015.
“The substance was sampled, tested and confirmed to not be produced oil or liquid, not from production facilities, and not carried by water to the location. It is not from any of the Joint Venture’s onshore or offshore facilities.
“Relevant community, government and regulatory agencies have been duly notified, and we are working with all parties to investigate the possible source.
“MPN restates its continued commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in our operations and is committed to the well-being of our neighbouring communities.” It said.

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