Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government has called on the people of Omoku in Ogba/Egbema Local Government Area to remain calm following a spill from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 that has polluted the ecosystem of the area.
Commissioner for Environment, Igbiks Tamuno, made the appeal during an assessment of the impacted sites of oil spill on farmlands and rivers in Obrikom in Omoku.
The OML-11 is operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
Tamuno said a joint investigation had been launched by the state, the oil firm and experts to ascertain the cause of the spill even as he promised the state would take action to protect the area.
“There is a lot of devastation, occasioned by oil spillage through the facilities of NAOC.
Three days ago, we got wind of it, and we took steps. As we talk, a joint investigation is going on between the state government and Agip. We expect that when we get the reports, we will take action from there.
“I must, once again, thank leaders of Omoku community, the youths and everybody that behaved themselves by not taking the laws into their hands. We have come and what we have seen is enough to say there is really devastation,” Tamuno said.
Spokesman for the Umueje community, Levi Uche, called on government to take urgent action to remediate the situation as lives and means of livelihood of the people were badly affected.