Oil spills from facilities of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has polluted and destroyed ponds, farmlands and river in Kalaba community in Okordia clan located in Yenagoa local government of Bayelsa State.
The oil spills occurred on five different occasions in the community.
Whereas two of the spills which occurred at the firm’s pipeline near the Taylor creek have been clamped, the remaining three spills are still raging thereby generating panic and anxiety among residents of the community.
Investigations by Saturday Mirror revealed that the spills which occurred in May and June, 2013, were acts of sabotage by some youths in the locality. It was learnt that officials of the State Security Service (SSS), in Yenagoa, had during the week, arrested some youths linked with the sabotage.
A source said some of the youths were granted bail after interrogation by the security agency.
Saturday Mirror gathered that inhabitants of community have raised the alarm of oil spills in their environment in the last two years. Officials of NAOC in Port Harcourt could not be reached for comments.
In an interview with Saturday Mirror, an ex- Chairman of Kalaba Community Development Committee, Roman Orukali, said a lady from a neighbouring community of Ayamabele alerted of some persons from another community trying to dig holes along oil installations in Kalaba.
Said he, “The lady even warned that she will reveal them as being responsible for any sabotage within the immediate environment. Besides ,I learnt some youths were arrested recently in that community in connection with sabotaging oil pipelines.
It is not like absolving our community folks/youths from the crime; but it is a great source of concern when people from other neighbouring communities would come into your environment and cause this type of damage to us. It is so sad,” Orukali said.
A Kalaba Youth leader , Joel Joel, regretted that the incessant oil spills in their environment was affecting them negatively ,especially its impact on the environment.