The village head of Akwa Obio Effiat community in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Inyang Etim, has called for the immediate intervention of the Federal Government to save the community from the menace of ocean surge.
He lamented that the community was at the mercy of ocean surge adding that in a desperate move to prevent the surging water, the community constructed a local embarkment to temporarily prevent the surge.
Etim stated this on Tuesday, in his welcome address to a delegation of the Citizens Right Department in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, led by FK Bebu to the community on a fact-finding mission.
Recall that the Chairman of Effiat Community for Sustainable Development Initiative, Saviour Itabana, had led the Effiat Clan Council to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, where he tabled the pains and predicaments of the community before the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Etim said, “We appreciate the team for risking your lives to come all the way from Abuja to see what is happening in the community, As you can see this community has no access road, good drinking water, electricity, schools and health worse of all, we have been living at the mercy of ocean surge, to prevent the sea from eating the village, the villagers constructed a local embarkment to temporarily prevent the surge.”
The Leader of the Niger Delta Youth Elite, Samson Onwukwe, in his address appreciated God for the privilege of having the FG’s team coming to witness what the Niger Delta people were facing.
He noted that people were running out of patience, because of the havoc meted out to them and urged the Federal Government to urgently intervene before something else happened.
He reiterated that the multinational companies had not lived up to their responsibility of meeting the needs of the people.
“This is disheartening and it appears there is a conspiracy between the companies and the person meeting them on behalf of the community. If we in the Niger Delta do anything, they will say we are militants or pirates. This community is being marginalised and deprived.
“Please when you return to the ministry, kindly do something about it. Seven multinational companies are operating in this terrain without any evidence? The man in question is no more needed,” he stressed.
Responding to the issues, Bebu, who led the delegation assured the oil producing communities that the pains they have suffered over the years due to negligence of corporate social responsibility by international and indigenous companies will soon become history.
“The long years of negligence by international and indigenous oil companies to perform their corporate social responsibilities in their host communities in Akwa Ibom State, would soon be over,” he said.
The leader of the delegation who spoke at a reception held at Akwa Obio Effiat community, said he would present a comprehensive written report of the pains and frustrations of the people at the end of the visit to the Minister of Justice
He added, “When we are done with fact finding, we are going to make a report to ensure that the government of this country takes care of your community. We have observed that you have been very peaceful and we plead with you to continue remaining peaceful.
“We bring you a message of hope and peace. You must know that government is making efforts to arrest criminality in the whole of Niger Delta.
“We are going to stress in our reports to ensure that government takes preemptive measures to take care of the community, and we shall ensure that oil companies do not shy away from their corporate social responsibilities.”
While urging the people to remain calm and peaceful as government efforts can only yield results in a peaceful atmosphere, he said Effiat community cannot continue to feed the whole nation with her resources, and keep languishing in pain and anguish.
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