By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Regardless of warnings on the well being hazards of consuming an enormous whale washed ashore Bonny shoreline in Rivers State, residents of communities within the space on the weekend feasted on the useless aquatic animal.
The residents ignored fears of huge suspected huge air pollution of the Atlantic Ocean, which just lately led to dying of 1000’s of croaker fish within the Niger Delta area.
An environmentalist, Mr. Furoebi Akene, added a twist to the event following his claims that poisonous chemical substances from Shell operations at Forcados oil export terminal have been the reason for dying of 1000’s of croaker fish washed ashore the coastlines.
However the whale, which was already decomposing, was butchered and shared by adamant residents, who reportedly believed it was a blessing from God to cushion the hardship attributable to the COVID-19 lockdown within the state.
A resident of the world, Peter Awajis, was reported to have stated: “It is a pure prevalence that occurs yearly.
“Ask any native of Finima, Bonny Native Authorities Space, Nembe, Brass, Bayelsa state and particularly individuals in Oyorokoto, Andoni fishing ports of Rivers, they may let you know similar factor.
“It isn’t new and may’t be linked to current useless croakers in our waters. This wild whale is unique manna from God to cater for the poor, particularly within the season of Coronavirus.
“Final 12 months similar incident occurred in Nembe, Bayelsa state, and in lower than three days earlier than the Bayelsa Ministry of Well being might mobilise to the scene, what was left was a mere carcass of the animal.”
Akene reacted to the place of the Nationwide Oil Spills Detection and Response Company (NOSDRA) that it discovered no oil leaks linked to the large dying of fishes alongside the Atlantic shoreline throughout area.
The company stated it was coordinating a multi-agency investigation to uncover the reason for the reported huge dying of fishes inside the nation’s territorial waters and was trying past the oil business.
Director-Basic of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, stated in a press release that investigation was already ongoing regardless of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Learn Additionally: Decomposing whale heightens worry of air pollution in Rivers
Whereas aligning with NOSDRA that the useless fishes weren’t attributable to oil leakage, Akene stated such disclosure by the regulator might mislead the end result of the continued investigations.
Akene, Chairman, Board of trustees of the Centre for Environmental Preservation and Improvement (CEPAD), claimed that Shell Petroleum Improvement Firm (SPDC) discharged poisonous supplies within the Atlantic off Delta shoreline at Ogulagha.
He stated: “It has additionally grow to be a typical information that, the Shell Petroleum Improvement Firm of Nigeria Restricted SPDC discharged sludge combined with chemical substances into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
“The discharge the chemical substances by considered one of their waste disposal pipes from the Forcados Terminal round Ogulagha. It was not oil spill from any of the trunkline pipes conveying crude oil from the Forcados terminal.
“The conspiracy between SPDC and NOSDRA has grow to be very robust because the DG of NOSDRA is making all efforts to downplay the act and divert consideration.
“It’s heartbreaking and shocking that the Federal Authorities Regulation Company , the Nationwide Oil Spill Detection and Response Company (NOSDRA) is simply waking up with a press launch.
“The NOSDRA Director-Basic himself Mr. Idris Olubola Musa acted belatedly nearly three months because the incident occurred across the finish of January 2020, haven earlier given the excuse that the COVID-!9 was a hindering him.
“Not solely the belated nature of the response however the untimely place whereas the outcomes are awaited is meant to protect or conceal the actual explanation for the matter, the power that triggered it and the homeowners of the power.
“That is fairly unlucky of a regulation company. We’re utilizing this medium in interesting to NOSDRA to for as soon as do the suitable factor as they’re statutorily mandated to do.
“In the identical vein we’re urging the Governments of the affected states of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ondo and their respective Nationwide Meeting members and State Meeting members to rise as much as their tasks to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion for the lives of their residents.”
However Musa dismissed the claims and restated the company’s dedication to a strigent regulation of the maritime area inside Nigerian territorial waters.
Musa insisted that NOSDRA was coordinating a multi-agency investigation geared toward revealing the reason for the large dying of fishes inside the nation’s territorial waters and was trying past the oil spill.
He stated: “The occasion of the dying of fishes in giant numbers make it expedient to look past oil spillage because the seemingly trigger dying of fishes in such giant numbers as we discovered no hint of leakage to hyperlink with the useless fishes.
“The Company proceeded to gather samples of water, sediments and a few of the useless fish for laboratory testing. In doing so the company introduced onboard different related companies of presidency which have mandate on our territorial waters.
“Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Company (NIMASA), Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Analysis (NIOMR), Federal Institute of Fisheries Analysis.
“Additionally included is the Nationwide Environmental Requirements and Rules Enforcement Company (NESREA) for an all arms on deck evaluation of the doable trigger or causes of dying of the fishes in such giant numbers.”