President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the people of communities affected by the recent gas explosion at a rig owned by oil multinational, Chevron, of adequate compensation by the federal government.
President Jonathan made the promise Monday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the communities affected by the explosion in his native Bayelsa State and told the people that he is conversant with the fears raised by the people on the effect of the gas explosion.
“I noticed that many issues have been raised and these are issues we are quite conversant with. I can assure you that we will look into it, the company, the state government and the federal government will continue to address them,” Mr Jonathan said.
The President also commended the people of the affected community, most especially the youth who remained calm in the face of daunting challenges posed by the threat of the explosion, saying his government remained committed to tackling environmental management issues not only in the Niger Delta but also in the extreme north of the country where there is serious desert encroachment.
“On my own part, I will reassure you that the federal government is totally committed to the issues bordering on environmental management, from the Niger Delta to the extreme north where we have desert encroachment,” he said
The communities affected by the explosion include Ezefu I, Ezefu II, Koloama I, Koloama II, Furoupa, Fish Town, Sangana, and Ekeni with a combined population of nearly 30,000 people.
A spokesperson for the communities, Nimibofa Ayawei, had earlier accused Chevron of neglecting the communities even when the company’s activities have led to the pollution of their source of water supply by not only leaving the indigenes with no access to drinking water but also leading to the death of fish which is a main source of economic survival of the people.
President Jonathan was accompanied on the visit by some top government officials including the Ministers of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke; Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe; and Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, as well as the newly elected governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson.