Chevron, Delta Community Disagree Over Oil Well Fire, Location
Posted: 15/May/2019

An oil well fire on a Chevron Nigeria Limited’s (CNL) facility has caused a bitter row between Polobubo-Tsekelewu community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State and the multinational oil firm.
While the community claimed that the cremated oil well is part of the Ikpalapkala-Bou oil facility in the Ijaw community, Chevron insisted that the facility belongs to the Ojumale oil well in Ondo State.
Polobubo-Tsekelewu community has, however, vowed to resist Chevron’s alleged schemes to cede part of the land to their Ilaje neighbours in Ondo State.
During a meeting between leaders and elders of the community and Chevron at the Delta State Government House Annex in Warri, convened by the state government, the community vowed that they would not shift ground on the facility’s location.
The Polobubo-Tsekelewu National Council (PNC) was represented by its National President, Ebilate Mac-Yoroki; General Secretary, Midwest Kukuru; former President, Edmund Tiemo; a clan head of Egbema, Dickson Asoki and Mathew E. O. Tiemo, among others.
Tony Emegere and Happy Appai of Chevron’s Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) Department represented its management.
Mac-Yoroki, who presented the community’s position expressed sadness over the unpleasant and provocative position that Chevron’s operations and recent actions had had on the people.
He urged the Delta State Government to support the community’s position by prevailing on the company to take steps and remedy the wrongs done to the community since it commenced operations in the area.
He charged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Intelligence Gathering and Community Development, Smart Yomi Asekutu, to prevail on Chevron to immediately end the inferno on the facility.
But responding, Emegere said Chevron has been playing safe so as not to cause communal crisis between the Ijaw of Polobubo in Delta State and Ilaje of Ondo State by treating both sides equally.
He said it was not Chevron’s duty to determine who owned the land on which the facility was located and refuted reports that the company had ceded the land to Ondo State.
Meanwhile, experts have raised concerns over water contamination in Ogoniland, lamenting that oil exploration activities have poisoned all sources of potable water in Rivers State.
They spoke at Global Rights Roundtable on Water Smart, Power Smart in Abuja, maintaining that water crisis was present in Nigeria and government has no policy to cater for 200 million people.
Jaye Gaskia of Prayis Centre said underground water in the region was of great concern, because streams are highly polluted with hydrocarbon particles injurious to human health.
Speaking, Abiodun Baiyewu of Global Rights noted that Lake Chad was shrinking to 10 per cent of its original size, stressing that mining activities have poisoned underground water.
Also, an environmentalist, Toko Michael Akong, mentioned the plight of Ogoni people over Federal Government’s lack of seriousness to cleanup of the area to enable them have access to clean water.