Bright Aghoremi, Reporting
DISTRAUGHT residents of Aleto community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, have called on the Federal Government to come to their aid as well as call Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to order.
Stonix News had reported that a spill from a crude oil pipeline belonging to SPDC has devastated the community with the people’s means of livelihood destroyed as the spill finds its way into the Okulu River.
Speaking to journalists during a protest against SPDC in the community on Thursday, the member representing the people of Eleme in the Rivers State House of Assembly, lamented the devastation and suffering of the people orchestrated by the spill.
He described as a blatant lie SPDC’s conclusion the ruptured pipeline was the handiwork of saboteurs.
“What has happened here is not little. I’m Engr. Igwe Obey Aforji the member representing the people of Eleme in the Rivers State House of Assembly. I’m a son of Aleto Community where this incident has happened.
“I feel really sad for this kind of neglect of my people. In spite of all we have done for the Federal Government of Nigeria by hosting all the multinationals, they have allowed us to suffer even when we are not supposed to be in this kind of shape.
“What we have seen here is a complete neglect and danger to the community called Aleto and I am feeling like we have no one to speak for us. These things have been happening from time and they find a way to cover them up.
“Our women cannot go to farm, our fishermen can no longer use the water they are supposed to fish on and they have used wrong materials, especially.
“The materials are all worn out and there is no maintenance. I understand that this is Zone II of SPDC’s Right Of Way Pipeline and I wonder why this kind of pipeline that carries Nigeria on its head in my community would be in this shape and our people are running helter-skelter looking for how to survive because everywhere has been polluted.
“We can’t even breathe fresh air. We are calling on the Federal Government, Rivers State Government and all agencies and NGOs to come to the aid of our little community. I feel very sad, I’m in tears for what is happening to my people,” he lamented.
According to him, even the all-important “East-West Road has been neglected; it’s as if we are not part of Nigeria. What have we not done; we have done everything to live in harmony with the Federal Government and Rivers State.
“We have given our quota to the development of Nigeria and River State. Is this what we should get? All we are asking for is that the right thing should be done. The entire line from Abuto to Aleto should be charged because we cannot sit on gun powder.
“This is going to clear the entire people of Aleto if care is not taken. There could be flame on it and so I feel that NNPC, SPDC and the Federal Government should bring themselves to a round table discussion with Aleto people.
“There is no way you can call this a sabotage. This is a real way out of materials.
“We are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria for the very last time to come to the aid of Aleto community and call SPDC to order to come and do what is needed before the palace and the entire council and the people of Aleto community
“May God give the Aleto people the patience to continue to dialogue and continue to cooperate with all security agencies, all NGOs to ensure we bring an end to this issue that has brought tears to our eyes,” he prayed.