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Explosion Rocks Agip Facility, Destroys Farmlands in Rivers State As Ogoni Experiences Shell Oil Spill

“Some of these equipment have lasted more than 30-40 years and this calls for removal, repair or replacement of those pipelines.”

The Obagi community in Egi land, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area has witnessed an explosion which erupted from Agip Oil Company’s facility in the area.

ARISE News visit to the scene of incident on Ssturday, observed that the fire from the explosion destroyed farmlands, economic trees and other sources of livelihood in the area.

It was gathered that the fire which started Wednesday night, caused residents and indigenes of Obagi to desert their community in fear of being killed by the fire erupting from the licking point of the gas in Udeta farmland.

This incident is happening in Obagi, barely 30 days after Obrikom Obiafu community in same LGA experienced an explosion on Agip pipelines which claimed over 35 lives.

A community member who spoke on the incident and gave his name as Morgan Destiny, said indigenes of Obagi deserted their community on the day of incident, even though the fire exploded at the mid night.

Destiny lamented: “Agip is virtually killing the community. Several occasions we have reported issues of havoc that Agip is committing on the people of Obagi: gas flaring, explosion etc. It has become a norm of Agip to destroy our environment without remorse.

“Obagi is really in a pitiable condition. The issue of gas eruption and explosion that happened two days ago started eight months ago. I personally have reported this issue to many authorities but non of them listened to us until the issue escalated. 

“That night we didn’t sleep, there was thick smoke, fire gushing out of our farmland from the Agip gas facility, but to God be the glory we are all alive today to tell the story”.

Also speaking on the incident, the ONELGA Chairman, Vincent Job said the incident was caused by equipment failure on the Agip oil company facility.

He said: “Maybe because of equipment failure from the company. Although experts have more things to say about it. For us who are novice in oilfield we found out that is equipment failure, because some of this equipments have lasted more than 30-40 years and this calls for removal, repair or replacement of those pipelines.

“So far, we have not had any casualty in the gas incident at Obagi, but the degradation was enormous, even the noise coming from that place, I went there myself and saw it on a spot, I couldn’t even get closer because if there is any spark, so many lives will be lost.”

Speaking further, Job called on the “federal government in as much as they are collecting their crude, is a natural economy, they should also ensure that they put every other things in place that will keep the livelihood of the locals. 

If you go to that Obagi, one will not believe that such economic resources is being collected from such community. Their lives are so bad, the locals were crying. I went there because is as exigency, I didn’t go with anything”, the chairman added. 

Meanwhile, ARISE News gathered that there is a fresh crude oil spill on a pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Ltd. in Ogoniland.

The spill  it was learnt occurred on Friday, January 19, 2024, on the Obolo-Ogale, (close to Ebubu Community) Shell’s pipeline right of way.

However, neither Agip oil company nor Shell Petroleum Development Company are yet to react to the various incidents on their facilities.

Blessing Ibunge 

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