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Pollution: Groups Protest Against Mobil

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Monday, May 16th, 2016
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A group, Peace Point Action, fishermen and women, fish sellers, farmers, and youth groups have protested against the alleged continued oil exploration and exploitation in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom by ExxonMobil.

The protesters, who assembled at Ibeno Beach beside the ExxonMobil headquarters in the state, asked the company to seek for alternative energy source that is environmental friendly and leave the oil and gas in the soil.

They expressed their grievances through various descriptions on placards like, ‘Break free, leave the oil in the soil’, ‘Oil is a crude business’, ‘If oil cannot promote our dignity, leave it in the ground’, ‘Clean up Ibeno now’ and ‘Keep it in the ground’.

Others are, ‘Thanks for the sad memories, time to say goodbye’, ‘Oil destroys our planet’, ‘A world without pollution’, ‘With oil, the future is dark’, ‘Oil brings death, leave it in the ground’.

The group’s Executive Director, Umo Isua-Ikoh, said Akwa Ibom, despite being the highest oil-producing state in Nigeria has some of the worst social and economic indicators in Ibeno and other oil producing communities.

According to him, the development shows that oil wealth does not directly translate to wealth and sustainable development for the people, but generates environmental disaster, time bomb, poverty, disease and conflict.

“Our environment is our heritage. We cannot continue to treat Niger Delta environment with impunity. That is why we have gathered here on Saturday, to join concerned citizens all over the world to say the time has come to end our fossil fuel lifestyle, notwithstanding what ExxonMobil and all the oil multinationals may think.

“If we are sincere about doing our part to fight climate change, then we must leave the oil and gas in the soil. The road to a cleaner, healthier and sustainable future has nothing to do with coal, oil and gas. Nigeria has what it takes to invest in clean energy,” Isua-Ikoh, said.

A fisherman, Nnimo Bassey, stated that with whales dying one after the other, it meant that for every single whale that died, thousands of other smaller fish might have died in the ocean.

He stated that fish were nowhere near the shore except deep in the Atlantic Ocean, and this, he noted, had been problems to fishermen in the area.

He added that the shoreline and the rivers around oil producing communities had been polluted with fish dying in their millions.

Bassey maintained that many surviving fish caught in such areas were so polluted that consuming them would be like someone taking poison.

He said, “We need our environment so that we can fish and farm. Water is not producing fish for us again and our farmlands have also been destroyed as they have not been giving us the necessary yield.”

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