By Sunny A Ijomah
Aquatic life, agricultural activities and ecosystem were brought to a halt on Wednesday in Ogwu-Anaocha and Ogwu- Ikpere Communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The incident which was as a result of illegal oil exploration by a company known as SEEPCO in the past five years with the use of military personnel to protect it’s installations and business.
According to the Federal Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee DPR the incident has completely damaged the ecosystem in the area.
Baseline Assessment visit to Ogwu-Aniocha by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee, DPR, SEEPCO, Ogbaru Local Government Oil and Gas Development Committee, representatives of Ogwu-Aniocha, Ogwu-Ikpele Communities and others; indicate that there has been oil spillage in Ogbaru arising from oil exploration carried out by SEEPCO; the bodies alleged.
This spillage has completely damaged our ecosystem and has caused the death of thousands of fishes in addition to polluting hinterland sources of water for the people of Ogbaru.
According to the Local Government Chairman of Ogbaru, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu, we had earlier today, received the joint team which are synergizing in the effort at bringing about the formalization of the process to making Anambra an oil producing State and guaranteeing the benefits accruable to the oil bearing and impacted Communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area.
But it is indeed shocking that such activities have been going on in the area without recourse to the relevant authorities in the State and at the National level.
We have made efforts as a government to look into the activities of this company without success and the products are transported to Kwale Community in Ndikwa West Local Government Area of Delta State where they are based.
The team moved into oil locations in Ogbaru following repeated reports on the oil activities in the area and were shocked to behold today’s discovery. It’s now clear that oil is indeed being lifted from Ogwu-Aniocha and Ogwu-Ikpele cum ajoining Communities in Ogbaru.
The Chairman further lamented that the Oil firm has refused the host Communities access to the oil locations and has set up parallel Community authorities against the Leadership of the towns which has led to the destruction of buildings and alleged killing of people.
“Anambra is an oil producing State and as such we should have access to what is accrued from the resources but some people are tapping our oil illegally under the nose of government authorities.”