From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The people of  Nvakaohia- Rumuekpe in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State have demanded N800 billion compensation as damages from Total E&P Nigeria Limited over oil spill that occurred in their area.

They made the demand at a  joint press briefing between the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (TIFPI), chiefs, Community  Development Committees (CDCs) and stakeholders of the affected area.

Executive Director, TIFPI and Convener, Ikwerre People’s Congress (IPC), Livingstone Wechie, who read their address, said the multi-national oil company should carry out remediation on the polluted Nvakaohia- Rumuekpe made up Ovelle, Imogu and Ekwutche communities in Emohua LGA, Rivers.

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Wechie alleged that the firm had operated in the three communities for over six decades and dozens of natives had lost their lives in the last 10 years, as a result of environmental pollution.

“That Total E&P Nigeria Ltd should pay N800 billion as compensation of Nvakaohia-Rumuekpe communities for the destruction on the various tortuous acts and injustices.There should be immediate supply of potable water to save life in Nvakaohia-Rumuekpe, building of hospitals, medical intervention, relief materials, construction of IDP camps to accommodate and return the people back from their current refugee status to avert the complete extinction of Nvakaohia clan in Rivers State.

“That a joint Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be immediately conducted in Nvakaoha-Rumuekpe between Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and Nvakaoha-Rumuekpe community and to ensure that remediation, cleanup and adequate compensation etc should be paid to Nvakaoha-Rumuekpe for the damages and degradation caused  in the communities on account of years of oil spill.

“That as soon as possible, a proper Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) should be entered into between Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and Nvakaohia-Rumuekpe that should be implemented within reasonable period to restore the community to its rightful place in the scheme of things.”