- Spill not from ExxonMobil Facility- ExxonMobil.
Amid the clamouring for the relocation of ExxonMobil Headquarters to it’s operational base, the oil giant is in another face-off with Ibeno community following an alleged oil from its facility that spills at Iwuokpom-Jetty, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
This was made known to iReporters during a stay-off facility protest by the youths of Ibeno today, who barricaded the entrances of the Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) facility to prevent workers from having access to the company’s operations.
According to the youth president of Mkpanak, Peter Peter Afaiko, who led the protest, the oil spill was realised on Tuesday, 18th July by fishermen on noticing aquatic life destruction and crude oil soaked nets on the shore of the Jetty.
Afaiko recanted that the youths immediately drew the attention of Ibeno TC, High Chief William Mkpa, the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno/Chairman, Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Owong Effiong Archianga and ExxonMobil Public Affairs Manager, Mrs. Regina Udobong.
He stated further that the TC came down to the scene to witness the spillage and told the youths to remain calm as there are procedures to handle issues of oil spillage.
Moses Imoh, The president, Forum of youth presidents in Ibeno, stressed that when they contacted ExxonMobil’s Public Affairs Manager, Mrs. Regina Udobong, she denied that spillage is from ExxonMobil’s facility.
Imoh said that there is no other oil exploration company in the region apart from ExxonMobil, that it was wrong for the PRM to say the oil was not from their facility.
The youths numbering about 1000, said they will not vacate the blockade except the company does oil cleanup, provide relieve materials to the affected persons, pay compensation to affected communities, reinstate all indigenous workers sacked by the company of recent and also relocate their Headquarters to its operational base.
Reacting on the issue, the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, His Royal Majesty Owong Effiong Archianga in a telephone conversation with iReporters, stated that he was briefed about the spillage.
Archianga said that there was no need for ExxonMobil to stay afar off to tender an assumed conclusion of self-vindication, when they haven’t come down to ascertain the veracity of the Iwuokpom- Jetty oil spillage.
He noted that it was pertinent for the oil giant to exonerate themselves with facts, and if they are found wanting they should do the needful of oil cleanup, tendering of relieve materials to the affected and compensation to community for aquatic lives destruction and environmental degradation.
The Royal Majesty also informed iReporters that the Commissioner of Transport and Petroleum Matters, Mr. Orman Esin also visited the scene yesterday and that he is optimistic that the government will play their role to ensure that this destructive occurrence is managed well to avert conflict between the company and the community.
The Paramount Ruler stressed that the relocation of ExxonMobil Headquarters to the operational base is long overdue.
He said that if the headquarters was in the operational base, issues of oil spillage will be easily managed in a way it would not affect the company’s operation, and also called on the company to re-employ all the indigenes acclaimed to be wrongfully disengage to ease tension in the area.
Every attempt to reachout to ExxonMobil’s Communications Manager, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha proved abortive ast the time of filing this report