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Pollution: Community threatens showdown with NNPC subsidiaries

Ben Dunno, Warri

Indigenes of Ekpan and Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta state, have vowed to cripple the activities of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), both subsidiaries of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) over health hazards caused by air pollution.

They have consequently demanded that the management of both companies summons an emergency meeting with the community leadership to address issues that bothers on how to find lasting solutions to the health challenges posed to the lives of their people in the community as a result their operations.

The President General (PG) of Uvwie Kingdom, Chief Austin Ukuwrere, in a statement in Warri yesterday, disclosed that the records presently at the disposal of the community executive revealed that over eighty (80) persons (both indigenes and non indigenes) of the council area are being admitted in various hospitals over respiratory disorder.

He explained that medical examinations conducted on these people, especially the ones admitted at the Ekpan General hospital, revealed it was as a result of the air pollution from the gas flare of WRPC and NGC plants which constantly pollute the air and emit chemical substances take in by residents of these areas.

According to him, “We have written several letters seeking audience with the management of these companies but they have turned deaf ears to our appeal to dialogue with us with a view of finding solutions to this health hazards caused by their operations in our community”.

‘”We can not continue to fold our hands and watch our people being subjected to series of health challenges due to the operations of these companies and the management seems not bothered. So we have decided to impress it on them the way we consider very appropriate to register our protest”.

He stated, “May be the management are thinking we going to adopt the old method of protest where indigenes would just come and block their gates to protest while they are working inside but they are making a mistake”.

“This time around, we intend to take our protest to the next level where their operations would be crippled till we get their attention to come to a round table and discuss how to address the health hazard their operation was causing our people”, Chief Ukuwrere concluded.


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