LEADERS of Oghior community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State are asking the management of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to pay them compensation amounting to N855 million, for damages and allegedly failing to contain an oil spillage which occurred in the community in September. They said oil spills, which were first noticed on September 19, spread into the community stream and damaged their source of livelihood. In a letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa jointly signed by Hon. Wisdom O. Ghaghara (president general), Comr. Joseph A Eyovwerhuvwu (secretary), and Comr. Vincent O. Oyibode (opinion leader), the leaders said, “As law abiding citizens, the community executives quickly alerted the management of the company (NPDC) to avoid more harm because we already noticed that fishes and other aquatic animals were floating all over the stream, but NPDC blatantly refused to act accordingly. “We wrote several letters on the issue telling them to put machinery in place to stop the spread of the spill and to avoid further degradation of the environment/ecosystem and its attendant negative effects on the community. “In those letters, we urged them to immediately do the clean up and send relief materials to the community but they ignored. Now the entire landmass, farms, the ecosystem, aquatic lives, streams, swamp and other sources of natural water in the community has been destroyed. If not urgently checked, this may further result to outbreak of disease/epidemics in the community. They further noted that “the fire outbreak which occurred on Sunday was as a result of total negligence on the part of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.” They urged Governor Okowa to prevail on NPDC and other relevant government agencies both at the federal and state to come to their aid by sending them relief materials.

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