•Two hospitalized, many infected with various diseases
From TONY JOHN and CANICE UZOUKWU, Port Harcourt
The people of Ibuluya Ama, Koniju community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State have cried out to the state and Federal governments to come to their aid over gas leakage that occurred in their area last Saturday, which has posed threat to their lives.
The leakage occurred from a ruptured pipeline belonging to the Port Harcourt Refinery Company. Some of the residents, who spoke to Daily Sun, said many members of the community had been infected with various diseases, adding that two persons had already been hospitalized at the General Hospital at the council. Community Development Committee Chairman of the area, Remember Chukuibi on Tuesday stated that he had been infected, as his breathing was impaired.
He also mentioned Madam Helen John Amah and Mathias John Amah as two persons already admitted in a hospital after the incident. “Even, I, the CDC chairman, I am affected too. Up till now, I am having heart problem. My breathing is very high after the gas incident. Not even only me, even their workers (PHRC); it affected them.” The CDC chairman recalled that similar incident happened in 2012 and many people were hospitalized, adding that since the recent leakage, the company’s management had not responded medically.
“Yes, there are many, even the previous one, there were many that were affected, both elderly men and women, children, many went to hospital, to the Mainland Clinic. This one also, it’s the same. In terms of medical aspect, up till now, the refinery has not done anything.”
Chukuibi stated that the community had approached the PHRC and the chairman of the council over the plight of the people, but had not received any response from them. He added that, though the council chairman had appealed to the youths to remain calm, as plans were ongoing to tackle the problem, urgent response was what they needed.