Two new oil spills in Bodo Community, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State have sparked fresh crises in the area. The Secretary General of Bodo Council of Chiefs, Chief Saint Emmah Pii, said this in Port Harcourt, at a-two-day National Consultative Dialogue on Faith and Climate Justice with theme: Grass root Multi-faith Voices on Oil Drilling and Gas flaring organised by Lift Humanity Foundation, LHF, and Green faith International. Pii said that between August and September that Bodo has recorded two separate oil spills, adding that some angry youths have taken over the community and have sacked many chiefs and destroyed their homes. He said “as we speak Bodo Community where I come from is in crisis. Youths have taken over when the pipelines. I managed to escape from the community.
“When the first spill happened the owners of the line, SPDC came for Joint Investigation Visit and it was ascertained that the spill was as a result of equipment failure. After we managed to resolve that it did not take two weeks another one happened. Now the youths don’t want anyone to go there.” However, the Global Director of GreenFaith, Meryne Warah, called on the faith communities to work together and bring dignity back to the Niger Delta region, adding that spill and Pollution affects everyone irrespective of religion. He said “we have realised that the impacts of climate change does not respect faith/religion, it hits everyone the same way. And that is why it is vital that faith communities should work together towards the protection of the communities where the corporations have left desolate and hopeless, especially where oil drilling has taken place. Faith leaders need to come together and speak for these communities and call out these evils by holding the government accountable. What is the need for development, when the same ‘development’ infringes on the right of farmers and fishermen, while lining the pockets of the rich, corrupt and countries that does not respect the culture, human life and their way of life.”
Also, Mr. Pius OKO, the Executive Secretary Lift Humanity Foundation, LHF, said oil spills and pollution worsens poverty, noting that suggestions from the dialogue would be communicated to the relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas sector. “Oil spills and gas flaring exacerbates poverty, inequality and undermines the ability of communities; thereby a threat to livelihoods agriculture, livelihood, health and Infrastructure, people access to services and lives.”