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WHO cleans up the Niger Delta mess? – by Emma Onwubiko

Emmanuel Onwubiko: The environmental impacts and destruction that have happened in the Niger Delta as a result of the bombing of Pipelines by a range of militant groups…

For two hours this morning, I entered into high level deliberation with a high profile official of the National Emergency Management Agency.

Understandably, our focus was on the growing emergency situations in the terror-ravaged North East of Nigeria. 

We also delved into the reported malnutrition of hundred-of-thousands of internally displaced Nigerians especially Children which at the last count have led to over a few dozen deaths. 

A story even circulated that some desperately hungry internally displaced persons resorted to eating raw grasses to survive. 

He showed me evidence that his office has so far spent virtually 85 percent of their resources just to feed the internally displaced persons in Maiduguri alone. 

He shockingly admitted that NEMA only drops off the relief materials with the state administration but that thieving officials steal those vital foodstuffs.

He nevertheless expressed shock at the expanding emergencies in other section of the North East. 

I then asked him if his office is getting ready to provide relief materials incase emergency situation emerges in the soon -to- be launched military ‘operation crocodile smile’. 

He smiled like the crocodile and stated emphatically that he has no answer.

The above enriching encounter brings me to the environmental impacts and destruction that have happened in the Niger Delta as a result of the bombing of Pipelines by a range of militant groups who claimed that they are seeking to draw President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention to the pathetic human and environmental rights’ violations of the people of Niger Delta.

I ask this question because the Statutory agency for cleanup of the polluted Niger Delta environment known as the National oil spill detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) established by Act of the National Assembly of 2006 has become moribund and non-existent due to lack of creative enterprise and efficient organisational and managerial skills of the hierarchy charged with the responsibilities of running the place.

Again, the quantum of crude oil spill in that region that has for fifty years consistently given Nigeria her entire or at least largest percentage of externally generated revenue is mind- boggling. 

The below are the time line of attacks of the oil facilities as captured by the media in the recent times.

On February 10, 2016: At about 1:30 am, the group claims to have attacked the Bonny Soku Gas Export Line. 

The line conveys natural gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plant and an independent power plant at Gbaran in the Niger Delta.

•        February 14: It claims attack on SPDC giant underwater Forcados 48-inch Export Pipeline at the Forcados Export Terminal.

*February 19: At about 3:30 a.m., blows up the Clough Creek Tebidaba Agip Pipeline Manifold in Bayelsa State.

•        May 4: Attacks the Chevron Valve Platform located at Abiteye. This platform is reportedly the most significant platform for Chevron as it serves as the main connecting point where all other platforms link up and it is a fulcrum to Chevron BOP and the Chevron Tank Farm.

•        May 5: Launches a coordinated attack on the Chevron Well D25 in Abiteye and blew up major pipelines.

*May 13: Bombs a Chevron pipeline at two separate spots near a military location

•        May 20: It attacks the Escravos Gas Pipeline, a facility of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Delta State.

•        May 25: NDA strikes Chevron main electricity feed pipeline to the Escravos Tank Farm at Ciera creek in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

•        May 27: Destroys the Nembe 1, 2 and 3 Brass to Bonny trunk lines belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC in Bayelsa State at about  2.15am on Saturday

•        May 27: Blows up NNPC Gas and Crude trunk lines in Warri at  11.45 pm

*May 31: Blows up Chevron Oil Well RMP 23 and RMP 24 believed to the company’s highest swamp producing oil wells at about 3:44 am

•        June 1: It carries out twin-attacks on wells RMP 23 and RMP 24 owned by Chevron Nigeria Limited. Both wells are located at Dibi in Warri South West local government area of Delta State.

•        June 2: About 2.00 am, it bombs the Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and Clough Creek to Tebidaba Crude O] oil pipelines in Bayelsa State.

•        June 3: At about  3:00 am, it blows up the SPDC Forcados 48″ Export line in Delta State because the company went ahead with repair works against its warning

•        June 3: 11. At about 3:30am, strike team blows up Brass to Tebidaba Crude oil line in Bayelsa State.

The above cases are only but a fraction of all the cases of bombing of Pipelines. 

Put these statistics together with the activities of oil bunkering gangs and other evil persons stealing crude oil from the Niger Delta, what will emerge is that it may take significant resource and expertise to clean up the mess. 

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