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Oil Spill: Bayelsa Governor Accuses AITEO of Negligence

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading oil firm in Nigeria, AITEO Oil Exploration and Production Company, has been accused of failing to take urgent steps to curb the oil spill at Santa Barbra Well 1 OML 29 weeks after it started, precisely on November 5, 2021.

A statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr Ayibaina Duba, said Governor Douye Diri is frustrated at the development.

According to the Commissioner, the Governor wondered why the massive spill has continued unabated, leading to extensive pollution of the rivers, waterways and farmlands in Nembe Local Government Area, even when the company management is aware of the situation.

He stated further that Mr Diri was gravely concerned that if the high volume of crude being spilt continuously is not stopped immediately, it will spread to many more communities and undermine the economic life of residents who are predominantly farmers and fishermen.

It was stated that the Governor was particularly disappointed that the management of AITEO has continued to play the ostrich and is yet to shot-in its failed facilities.

“AITEO should not assume that this criminal neglect of its facilities and disregard for human life and the environment, as demonstrated by its conduct, will not be accounted for,” the Governor was quoted as saying.

Mr Diri has, therefore, asked the oil multinational to be prepared for the consequences of its alleged failure because the government will not stand by and watch AITEO put human and aquatic lives and the environment in jeopardy.

The Governor was said to have advised residents to be law-abiding and remain peaceful, assuring them of the government’s commitment to their wellbeing at all times.

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