COP 26: Ijaw Diaspora Council Petitions UN Over Nembe Explosion

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The Ijaw Diaspora Council has petitioned the United Nations over the latest oil well explosion in Nembe area of Ijaw land and the Federal Government’s complicity in the climate catastrophe.

A statement signed by Director of Public Relations, Ijaw Diaspora Council, Pastor Kenneth Tamara said the ongoing UN Climate Summit (COP 26) would not be a success without global action to stop what he described as ‘ecocide’ in Nembe.

The Ijaw Diaspora Council called on the international community’s conscience and the Nigerian Government to act immediately on the still-gushing oil and gas explosion in the waterways and mangrove forests of Nembe area of Ijaw land, Nigeria before the global Climate Conference (COP26) rounds off in Glasgow.

“We call for international emergency action on the massive explosion of accumulated gas and oil from a long-sealed, non-producing, but unattended oil well in the Nembe area of Ijaw land, Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Interim inquiries from petroleum experts indicate that the incident was caused by maximum pressure from piled-up gas in the well, which has witnessed several spills in previous years. This time, it is catastrophic. As described by the operator of the unattended oil well, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Ltd, a Ghanian-Nigerian oil giant that has been parading global awards for corporate social responsibility, “The magnitude of this incident is of an extremely high order.”

“The indigenous peoples’ entire mangrove forest and marine environments are adversely affected by the same methane gas that world leaders have gathered in Scotland to cut emissions. What is happening now in Nembe is the opposite of whatever the Nigerian Government promised as its nationally determined contribution to global climate action.

“In a neighboring oil field, coastal communities in Brass Local Government Area in Nigeria have also been ravaged for several weeks by gas spewing continually from another conglomerate’s oil rig site named The Adriatic. There has been virtually no official action from the petroleum and environment ministries and agencies, as usual.

“For strange considerations, including conflicted and incestuous interests, Nigeria’s fossil industry regulators have routinely looked away as companies like Aiteo, Shell, and Total routinely gas and pollute hundreds of Ijaw, Ogoni, and other local communities in the Niger Delta. These disasters occurring during COP 26 are graphic examples of Nigeria’s insincerity and lack of capacity for climate security, environmental justice, and indigenous minorities’ protection. We can no longer allow this catastrophic environmental destruction to go on without a consolidated international response.

“Therefore, we call on the Presidency, the United Nations and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and world leaders to take every immediate action to cause the Government of Nigeria to stop the ongoing Nembe-Nigeria gas explosion in parallel with the COP26. We also call on G8 and OECD countries and the international environmental rights and climate change movement to commence ecological remediation and economic reparations and activate detailed investigations. The superintending Nigerian ministries and departments are too compromised to act to determine and sanction defaulting operators. Their officers and the recalcitrant regulators have encouraged their repeated crimes of ecocide. Therefore, we demand that trusted international bodies lead the investigations, and commence ecological remediation and economic reparations.

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