The coastal communities of Ugbo in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have protested over the harsh conditions they are passing through as a result of the explosion caused by the Ojumale oil field.
Their protest came barely two months after the ‘Ojumole Oil field’ went up in flames and cause heavy inferno which spread to other areas.
The protesters also carried different placards which inscriptions: “We are dying gradually due to poison”; “The Govt should come to our aide”; “Chevron doesn’t care about us”, lamenting their loss as a result of the fire.
On April 18, 2019, the Ojumale oil field went up in flames in Ororo, Parable Field, Isan-West Field, Opokaba and Malu fields.
Many of the communities affected by the incident are the Ehinmoghan -Ikorigho, Iluayo, Otumara, Ikorigho, Ajegunle-Ikorigho, Zion Ikorigho, and Kendo Ayeren.
The operating oil company, Chevron Nigeria Limited, had alleged that a “third party” tampered with the affected oil well which stopped production in 1998.
During the protest, the residents said the devastation caused by the Ojumale fire had brought them untold hardship.
They added that Chevron had yet to put out the fire despite all promises to do so when the case was formally reported.
The protesters explained further that the facilities owned by American oil giant, Chevron, had continued to ravage their communities within impunity.
According to them, fishing and farming business, their main sources of livelihood, is badly affected by the oil well’s fire.
They maintained that, on a daily basis, they are exposed to hazardous fumes and gaseous content from the burning oil well.
Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager in Charge of Policy, and Public Affairs at Chevron Nigeria Limited said the oil company was working with some emergency response contractors to safely put out the fire as quickly as possible.
“Due to the peculiar terrain of the well location, we had to create an access path to the slot leading to the well head. Having created the required access, we have moved heavy equipment and the personnel required to work on safely putting out the fire.
“We continue to keep all stakeholders, including the government, regulatory agencies, media, and community leaders engaged on our efforts at putting out the fire in a safe manner,” he said .
SaharaReporters, New York