Sequel to the Chevron negligence on the fire out break on Ojumole Oil well in Ondo State, the State House of Assembly Ad-hoc Committee on fire incident has ordered the company to send its qualified representatives who can address the committee on the issue before the House and journalists on Tuesday May 14.
The Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun, gave the position of the committee on Thursday at the meeting of the members of the committee with all stakeholders held at the conference room of the State House of Assembly, where he said the representatives of Chevron at the meeting have no technical experience to speak on the issue, in the presence of the House correspondents at the meeting.
He said that the company should send a qualified and technical experts who can speak on behalf of the company, to appear before the committee next week Tuesday and directed the company to put off the fire before the meeting date.
The speaker said failure on the part of the company will lead to drastic step of the House against chevron.
According to him, the negligence of chevron led to the fire incident and llaje people are being shortchanged.
“l strongly condemned the management of chevron for not doing the needful to care for the lives and property of the people affected as a result of fire incident at Ojumole.
“As a reputable company in the country, the lives and properties of the hosting community where chevron operates should be paramount to the company rather than toying with socio – economic activities of the hosting community,” he said.
The Chairman of the Committee, Abayomi Akinruntan, representing Ilaje Constituency l attributed the fire incident to the negligence on the part of chevron company,adding that since it occurred nothing has been done to care for lives and properties affected through the incident.
Akinruntan, who also condemned the management of chevron company for showing negligence towards lives, property and the nine communities affected as a result of the fire said the incident has paralysed economic activities of the area as well, led to the pollution of water in the area.
He said the representatives should not have attended the meeting since they could not address the committee in the presence of pressmen.
The representatives of the chevron,Mr. Tony Emegiche and Barrister Uche Akunemeh jointly said that it is not appropriate for them to speak on the fire incident before pressmen since the company has appropriate department saddled with such responsibility.
Uche Akunemeh who said he works in the personnel management of chevron
said speaking on the issue will only be possible without the presence of pressmen.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Funso Esan, explained that the state government since the incident occurred has took necessary step through Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to the scene of the fire to assess level of damage.
The commissioner, who affirmed that the fire was still burning as at the time of visit to the scene said there is need for the fire to be put off.
Esan noted that the state government had advised chevron to engage either community security to look after the oil well but non avail.
A representative of Odonla in one of the affected communities,Dr. Akin Akinruntan called for the compensation of community where oil exploration takes place and urge the chevron company to stop merging the oil well in their area with Delta state region.
Akinruntan said compensations should also be given to communities over damage of water and pollution of air the company has caused in the area.
However, that the House has set up a-6 man committee on Tuesday May 7,2019 during its plenary session and directed all the stakeholders in the fire incident to appear before the committee today.
With the aim of addressing the root cause, security implications, economic effects and the lasting solutions to the incident.
It would be recalled that the fire incident occurred on April 18,2019 at Ugbo llaje Ojumole, Oil Well in ilaje local government area of the state.