The Rev. Samuel Ayadi, Coordinator of the Niger Delta Nigerian Artisan Fishermen Association, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern and response to the ongoing oil leak at Nembe in Bayelsa.
He noted that the vocation of fishermen had been threatened.
The oil spill was reported from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, operated by Exploration and Production on November 5.
It has been dumping crude oil into the Santa Barbra and Nembe river streams to date.
Ayadi noted that she said that the empathy shown says it all.
He said Sylva’s visit by order of the president was an encouragement to affected residents, who were predominantly fishermen.
The coordinator also pointed out that the visit must have sent signals to the oil company that operates the field that it would not work as usual.
He said this had led to a renewed approach to recovering the oil and preventing it from spreading.
“So far, what oil companies do is use chemical dispersants that are themselves toxic to marine life to absorb oil and further degrade the environment, but the current approach to intensive recovery of spilled oil is very acceptable and better.
“From the response that we have seen, we understand that it is a Nigerian company that acquired the asset after the divestment of Shell in 2015, which means that we have the ability to do things right.
“Even though it was an emergency, in a very short time many oil companies came together to help and the oil company has engaged the services of Boots and Coot, a Halliburton company to help stop the well leak.
“This type of coordinated oil company effort is very patriotic and should be emulated by international oil companies operating in Nigeria.
“We have not witnessed this magnitude of response even in worse incidents in the past,” Ayadi said.
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