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Friday 25 September 2015

Isoko youths hold contractor hostage over oil spill

TROUBLE is looming in the oil bearing community of Emede, in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, as youths of the community are daggers drawn against the management of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, over an oil spill they claimed destroyed their agricultural produce in the area.

The youths,   on Wednesday, held an NPDC contractor hostage and prevented him  from embarking on a clean-up exercise at an oil spill site said to have been caused by vandalized crude oil pipeline located at Owhelogbo in the community.

Demanding compensation before the contractor would be allowed to work at the site, the youths accused NPDC and the contractor in-charge of surveillance of the pipeline, of setting fire at the scene of the spill which led to the destruction of their agricultural produce, their source of livelihood.

Attempts to speak with the NPDC External Relations Officer, Mr. Ugo Atugboko, were unsuccessful at press time.
The traditional ruler of the community,  Johnson Egbo Ewhiri II, who is in charge of the security and surveillance of the vandalized pipeline, lamented the acts of the youths describing same as barbaric.

Speaking to Vanguard, he said: “I got news of the incident today (Thursday) and have contacted my supervisor to ensure that the matter is resolved amicably while the contractor goes about his job of cleaning up the spill peacefully.

“As for compensation, there is a standing rule by NPDC which states that compensation should not be paid to communities were oil spill occur as a result of vandalism, hence there was no compensation to the community.”

By Perez Brisibe & Ochuko Akuopha

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