*Demand adequate compensation
WARRI- Ijaw communities in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta State have issued two weeks ultimatum to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) over their Gas pipeline explosion which had caused adverse effect to the health of the inhabitants in the area.
The communities in a press release signed by leaders of the affected communities of the Gas explosion, Mr. Godwin Akori, Mr. Edward Odudu on behaf of Ikpokpo, Okpele-Ama, Otogbene, Atanba and other Gbaramatu Communities, said ‘‘ The August 25, 2017 gas explosion along the Escravos to Warri gas pipeline has given two weeks ultimatum to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) now known as Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company, owners and managers of the facility to carry out assessment of the extent of damage to people and communities arising from the gas explosion, implement remedial steps and compensate the people and communities affected by the gas explosion’’
The Gbaramatu communities gave the ultimatum at the weekend after a meeting of the affected communities to review the ongoing forceful repair of the damaged gas pipeline by the company without carrying out joint investigation visit to determine the cause of the explosion.
According to the communities led by Mr. Godwin Akori and Edward Odudu, when the communities noticed the massive emission of gas from the Escravos to Warri gas pipeline at Ikpokpo community, Gbaramatu Kingdom on August 25, 2017, it promptly informed officials of the NGC office in Warri and the Warri Zonal office of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) whereupon NOSDRA called for a meeting of stakeholders on October 12, 2017 in Warri and directed that a joint investigation visit should be carryout to ascertained the cause of the gas explosion. However, NGC completely disregarded the NOSDRA directive and instead mobilize contractor to the site of the explosion with the aid of men of the Nigerian Army to forcefully carryout repair of the leaked gas pipeline without the addressing the grievances of the affected Gbaramartu communities.
The communities leaders further stated that all efforts by the Zonal office of NOSDRA to get NGC to carryout JIV and take steps to ascertain the extent of damage and carryout out remedial actions have failed and also appeal to the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu to intervene fell on deaf ears; hence the two weeks ultimatum. The communities threatened to shut down all NGC operations in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum.
It is recalled that multinational companies operating the Southern Nigeria have escaped in similar ecological damages as result of equipment failure without adequate compensation to the locales, leaving them to their fate.