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Nembe oil spill: Gov. Diri frowns at Reps’ silence

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Monday, December 13, 2021, expressed surprise over the silence of the House of Representatives on the recent oil spill in Nembe Local Government Area (LGA) of the state. 

Douye Diri
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

The leak, which occurred on November 5 at the OML 29 Wellhead 1 operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited, polluted the Santa Barbra River and creeks for more than a month before it was stopped. 

Diri spoke when he received the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring during a courtesy visit to Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor, a former Member of the House of Representatives, recounted his experience in the House, and charged the members to revive the vibrancy the Green Chamber was known for.

He noted that there was nowhere in the world an oil spill would last for over a month and the people’s representatives would be silent.

“I like to observe that as a part of you, the vibrancy I used to see in the House appears to be extinguishing. Please, let that spirit be revived.

“I stand by what I said during the period of the oil spill. There is nowhere in the world an oil spill of such magnitude will occur and the legislators would be silent. I drew a parallel with the oil spill 10 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Here in the creeks of Bayelsa, we had a gushing oil spill for more than one full month and there was a loud silence from my own constituency, the Green Chamber. So, let us revive that vibrancy again.” Diri said.

Diri maintained that one does not have to be from Bayelsa to raise a motion on the spill, likening it to Boko Haram insurgency and banditry ravaging the North that every member had raised motions to see to its end.

The governor commended the robust partnership between the state and the Simbi Wabote-led Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

According to Diri, NCDMB remains the only functional federal presence within the state capital of Yenagoa.

Speaking earlier, chairman of the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Legor Idagbo, said the legislators were in the state on oversight duties on the NCDMB.

He expressed satisfaction over the fruitful interactions with the Board.

Idagbo stressed that it is their constitutional responsibility and part of their legislative function to strengthen the NCDMB and sponsor bills in line with current realities. 

One of such bills, according to him, is to expand local content beyond oil and gas to every other sector of the Nigerian economy.

He commended the governor for his partnership with the NCDMB by providing infrastructure at the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre project.

The legislator further applauded Diri for ensuring peace and stability at the Board’s headquarters and at every of its other project sites in the state.

By Nathan Nwakamma

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