Oil Spill: Artisan Group Niger Delta Seeks Buhari’s Intervention

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The victims of the Shell Spill from the five Niger Delta States under the umbrella of the Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari for intervention.

The association, which lamented the damaging effects of the activities of multinational oil firms operating in the oil-rich region called on Mr. President to prevail on the to complete the remediation work on the affected areas and end environmental pollution across the region.

Speaking on behalf of the association, the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Chima Williams, told newsmen in Benin, Edo capital, that the activities of the oil have not only destroyed their main sources of livelihood but has also posed a serious health threat to the residents of the area.

However, the executive director in a letter to President Buhari applauded the President for the positive steps taken in environmental protection and preservation over the years.

“We appealed to the President to ensure that petroleum are compelled to live up to their responsibility of restoring the Nigerian environment. They should put money down to solve the environmental problem they created before divesting their asset,” William said.

But he called on President Buhari to bring all the oil companies, including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Energy and the victims of their operations, relevant government agencies and departments together to map out workable solutions to the environmental pollution arising from the oil firms’ operations.

William noted that the federal government should also address and discourage the fact that the oil are shying away from their responsibilities of restoring the environment on which they operate to how it was before they came in to do their business in the name of divestment.

William, who is also the winner of the 2022 Goldman Environment Prize Winner for Africa, expressed optimism that President Buhari will definitely heed to their call and intervene soon in order to bring succour to the fishermen who are the most affected people by the spill.

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