Warri (Delta) – The Delta Government has delivered relief materials to the Polobubo (Tsekelewu) Community in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Mofe Pirah, Co-chairman of the Delta Flood Management Committee, led other government officials on Thursday to deliver the items to the community that had been ravaged by flood in recent times.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that residents of Polobubo (Teskelewu) Community, had on Sunday staged a peaceful protest in Polobubo over incessant flood ravaging the area due to various activities of oil companies.
They called on the three tiers of government to prevail on oil companies operating in the community to dredge inland waterways, saying that this would save them from the perennial flooding.
Pirah, also the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, said that the aim was to help cushion the effect of the flood on the oil bearing community.
He assured the people that the state government would do all it could to assist all communities in the state affected by flood.
Other members of the flood committee on the tour were: the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu; Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie.
Responding, Mr Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, National President of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) National Council (PNC), thanked the state government for its prompt response.
Mac-Yoroki said the action served as reassurance that people had not been totally abandoned to “a perilous fate”.
He said that the community had remained one of the most peaceful and law-abiding in the state in spite of its numerous socioeconomic and environmental challenges.
“If the oil companies operating within our environment and the Federal Government had responded swiftly to our plights, we would not have embarked on protest.
“We thank Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and his team for this response, we are specially delighted that his response is coming swiftly.
“However, we are asking that this intervention should not stop with relief materials.
“They should go on to prevail on the oil multinationals to correct this environmental error, which has brought so much pains, discomfort and deaths to people of Polobubo Community.
“They should block the channel they dug from the ocean into our community and dredge our so badly silted waterways.
“This is the most urgently needed intervention, after which other remediation can follow.
“We also call on the Federal Government to take the sufferings of Polobubo people and their environment more seriously.
“Federal Government needs to take a cue from this very laudable action of our state government.
“We are contributing immensely to the national economy through the huge quantum of crude oil being extracted from our soil.
“We want canalisation of our waterways, land reclamation, foreshore protection and construction of the Trans-Egbema Road from Ogboinbiri through Ogbudugbudu to Polobubo and Opuama,’’ he said.
Mac-Yokori also appealed to the Federal Government to compel oil companies to connect Polobubo and Opuama with electricity supply and potable water.
Earlier, the eldest man of Polobubo Community, Pa Edebe Pabloba, said that activities of the oil companies had turned their fresh water into salt water, killing most aquatic lives.
He thanked the state government for its quick response.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the protesters on Sunday, Mr Midwest Kukuru, Secretary-General of Polobubo National Council, said that government at all levels should help prevail on the oil firms to open up the silted rivers.
Kukuru described the development as “agonising, harrowing and disturbing”.
According to him, this development had caused loss of lives and property in recent times in our community.
NAN reports that the protesters were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as “No Farming, No Food, because of Flood, Government Help Us”.