Dick­son blasts oil com­pa­nies over en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age in Niger Delta

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - From Chris Eze, Ye­nagoa

Bayelsa State Gover­nor, Se­ri­ake Dick­son, has lashed at in­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies over what he re­ferred to as their “in­sen­si­tiv­ity to the plight of oil pro­duc­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the Niger Delta.”

Ac­cord­ing to the gover­nor, the ac­cu­mu­lated ef­fects of the ac­tiv­i­ties of the oil com­pa­nies were be­gin­ning to take their toll on the people of oil pro­duc­ing states, im­pact­ing ad­versely on their lives.

His words: “I have said it be­fore that what has been go­ing on in Bayelsa State and in all oil pro­duc­ing ar­eas con­cern­ing the lev­ity with which oil com­pa­nies treat the is­sues of the en­vi­ron­ment and the main­te­nance of en­vi­ron­men­tal and health stan­dards is unimag­in­able.

“We all have a duty to keep the en­vi­ron­ment safe and hand it to our chil­dren’s chil­dren, the same way our par­ents handed it over to us. Al­ready, in our vil­lages and com­mu­ni­ties, we can see what is hap­pen­ing; the ac­cu­mu­lated ef­fects of sev­eral years of oil ex­plo­ration and ex­ploita­tion; a regime of lack of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity by oil com­pa­nies, who are op­er­at­ing in this area be­cause they have no re­spect for our laws and even our lives.”

The gover­nor, who stated this in an in­ter­view with news­men in Ye­nagoa, cap­i­tal of Bayelsa State, urged Non Gov­ern­men­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tions and other well mean­ing groups to join govern­ment in cham­pi­oning the cause of pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for the sake of pos­ter­ity.

His said: “The en­vi­ron­ment is one of the great­est chal­lenges our people are fac­ing. This govern­ment is aware of the pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion of our en­vi­ron­ment and we are aware of our over­all re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment, which is the most im­por­tant her­itage.”

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