Abereke indigenes call for help, demand compensation

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OilandPower South-Sudan  2020

“All businesses must do more than seek strong profit margins for success; being socially responsible is part of business survival in today’s economy. Companies should take a stance on important social, economic and environmental issues.”

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The people of Abereke and Abereke Seaside Communities, and the Mahin Kingdom of the Ilaje Local Area of Ondo have expressed concern to what they consider Chevron’s deliberate inability to take responsibility on a number of fire outbreaks, oil explosions and spillages that have caused so much loses and hardships in the area. They also said that the fires, explosions and the consequent spillages affected all the areas connected, one way or the other with the company’s oilfields and operation locations. The communities include the Ugbo and Mahin kingdoms. They also claimed to have lost agriculture and other properties to the tune of hundreds and millions of United States dollars.

A letter from the office of Oloja of Abereke Community, Mahin Kingdom of the Ilaje LGA of Ondo State, dated 29th of September 2019, to the President of the Nigerian Upper Legislative Chamber requesting his intervention to the matter, had spelt out the following conditions to guarantee future operations of the US oil giant. They include, among others, the need to compel Chevron Nigeria Limited to deal and treat them as hosts, as well as compensate them for the damages that came from the explosions and oil spillages.

They also demanded that the company embarked on a clean-up of all the affected areas, including the waterways whose contamination has caused the lives of millions of fishes. They also requested that the Senate Leader constituted a delegation comprising the Communities’ heads for a meeting with the oil firm, to decide on time and modalities for compensation. Demands also include that an exquisite, fully-equipped health center be erected within the host communities, with guarantees of scholarship programme for the children, from secondary schools to tertiary institutions, providing as well jobs, casual or permanent, for the youths in the affected communities. They also demand that the company construct an embankment to check soil erosion and sea incursion, put in place a well-treated water borehole, with solar energy street lights to light up the areas. They also insist that the oil firm seize from further oil exploration in their area failure to comply with the demands.

Abereke Seaside communities in Ilaje LGA of Ondo State are made up of a population of about 50, 000 people, who are predominantly farmers and fishermen, whose livelihoods also depended on fishing and farming.

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