The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has faulted Aiteo’s response to the November 5 oil spill stating that Aiteo’s attributions to sabotage is wrong as a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) had not been conducted on the incident.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the President of INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, in a press briefing at the national secretariat of the organisation in Yenagoa.

This also comes after the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) said that a Joint Investigation into the cause cannot be held until the leak is stopped, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria. NOSDRA also stated that the spill impacted fishing settlements along the Nembe creeks.

What the Ijaw National Congress said

Okaba faulted Aiteo’s position on sabotage, saying it was capable of jeopardizing the outcome of the JIV that is yet to be carried out as crude oil is still leaking from the facility.

“First and foremost, we want to express our dismay over the position of Aiteo that the oil spill was caused by sabotage. The INC considers this position as prejudicial and pre-emptive, and it is unacceptable.

“Since the leak occurred, Aiteo has been complaining that it does not have the capacity to mobilise personnel to clamp the leaking point on the facility.

“So the question is: without the JIV, how did they come up to ascertain that it is caused by sabotage?” he asked.

The INC added that the site is still leaking, as it is of a peculiar nature because it is not from the pipeline. It is coming from the flow under, to the extent that it is difficult for any living being to even access the spot of damage.

“It requires high technology,” Okaba said.

The INC also faulted Aiteo’s response to the community stating that it was dirty politics.

“They sent only 200 bags of rice. This is inhumanity taken too far. 200 bags of rice is what a company that has destroyed people’s livelihoods is talking about,” Okaba lamented.

“They are not even ashamed of themselves. They should be ashamed of themselves to even attribute the incident to sabotage.

“We are too smart for that kind of dirty politics,” he added.

In case you missed it

Recall that Nairametrics reported that Andrew Oru, Director, Asset Production at Aiteo said the particular well has about 85% gas and just about 15% crude. While speaking in an interview on ChannelsTV, Oru said that all efforts are being made to contain the incident.

“Immediately the incident happened, we moved our expertise and equipment to contain it and make sure it does not desperse,” he said.

He added that the company is investigating immediate and remote causes of the leak.

“We are suspicious to what may have happened to the well. We do not want that to be a repeat. We have commenced investigation to determine the real cause of the event,” he added.