Bayelsa, APC, mounts pressure on Aiteo to stop oil spill
– We are committed to stop spill- Aiteo
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government, the All Progressive Congress (APC), have separately called on Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) to expedite action to stop the oil spill at Oil Mining Licence (29), Santa Barbara Oil field which has been on-going for three weeks.
The Chief Operating Officer of Aiteo, Mr Ewariezi Useh said the oil company is making concerted efforts to contain the spillage.
Useh who stated this in an interview in Nembe shortly after the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva inspected the site said the priority of the company is to stop the spill.
“Aiteo remains committed to the things we have said since day one. Our priority in this is to stop this spillage and kill the well. Arrangements have been made. We are in contact with Halliburton and Boots and Coots to stop the spillage. We are a truly responsible company and we are concerned with the plight of the people of the communities.”
Governor Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the call on Wednesday at the 57th session of the State Executive Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Diri who expressed concern over the spillage of crude oil and its attendant degradation of the environment, called on Aiteo to take urgent steps at initiating remediation efforts towards ensuring that the spill at its facility was brought under control.
He further stated that the government would embark on an on-the-spot assessment at the spill site to assess the extent of damage caused by the spill.
To this end, Senator Diri directed the Commissioner for Environment, his Mineral Resources counterpart, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s office; the Commissioner for Information, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security One (1) as well as the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice to undertake an on-the-spot assessment at the spill site.
Also speaking in an interview the Bayelsa chairman of APC, Dr Dennis Otiotio-Odoni who accompanied Sylva on the inspection visit seized the opportunity to also call on Aiteo to expedite action on stopping the spill.
He commended the Minister for his timely visit and for the promise that the Federal Government would do everything within its power to ensure the leak is immediately stopped and the incident properly investigated.
“The oil spill had caused undue harm to the environment and undue hardships to the people of Opu-Nembe and its environs and I call on the operators of the oil field, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, to take all necessary steps to block the leak and undertake a post impact assessment to determine the damage done to the environment and proffer best available options for the remediation of the environment. I further call on Aiteo to provide adequate relief materials to the communities affected by the spill to alleviate their suffering.”