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(+VIDEO) Shell’s Ruptured Crude Oil Pipeline Devastates Rivers Community 

Bright Aghoremi, Reporting

CHAIRMAN of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria, Chief Obarilomate Ollor, has cried out over the devastating effect of a spillage on the popular Okulu river, calling for a quick intervention.

The oil spillage, caused by the breakdown of the Trans-Niger Pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), occured at Aleto community in the local government area.

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Okolo river impacted

Stonix News reports that Okulu river is a major fishing point in Aleto and Eleme communities from which natives eke their livelihood.

While on an on-the-spot assessment of damage at the site, the Chairman, who frowned at Shell’s approach to the spillage, said the Okulu River was has been destroyed beyond imagination.

According to him, aquatic life is long gone and economic activities are totally grounded.

He expressed disappointment at the response of Shell, adding that his preliminary findings showed that the spillage was as a result of a ruptured pipeline.

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The ruptured pipeline

Chief Ollor cautioned Shell not to take the hospitable and peaceful nature of the Eleme people for granted.

“I have communicated to Shell management; I have spoken to consultants on this; I can tell you, they are going to pay dearly for this.

“Our people are not happy; I am very much devastated; it’s a bad day for the Eleme people,” he lamented.

Speaking further, the local government chairman, however, said “the King of Eleme and myself will talk to the people to calm all the frayed nerves to ensure that everyone doesn’t act illegally.

“While we have been here for two days, no single person from Shell has shown up here, although they have called me but they have not shown up.

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Destroyed Aquatic life

“We know that Shell knows what to do which is called the process of recovery, remediation and restoration, they must all be carried out here.

“We will follow it blow by blow, I have escalated it, I have written a report to the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara and he is aware of this development.

“Let them come and let’s look at it together and agree on a document of what should be done; if the processes that ought to be followed are followed under our supervision as a local government, there will be no crisis,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Eleme Kingdom, Philip Obele, along with other members of his traditional council, on Wednesday, inaugurated a 10-man committee to interface with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) with a view to containing the spill from the SPDC wellhead at Edemaku community in Aleto.

Obele said the steps being taken were to find a way to reduce the destructive effects of the oil spill both on the natives and aquatic life within the area of impact.

He disclosed that though the battle to contain the spill into the Okulu River rages on, the effects are still clearly visible as aquatic life and the livelihoods of communities on the banks of the river have been impacted.

In the meantime, the Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, in a telephone interview with Channels Television, said the Joint Investigation Visit had yet to determine the cause of the spill.

Musa added that containment of the spill and the mapping out of the area of impact was ongoing with government agencies actively involved.

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