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Awoye, Makoko communities, HOMEF alert govt on Ororo-1 fire, eviction threat

Nnimmo Bassey (left); Achike Chude and other officials at the event.

.Seek govt’s urgent intervention

Bassey pointed out that the tragic incident compounded the climate crisis and harms the communities and ecosystems in multiple ways

By Valentine Amanze

Awoye community in Ilaje council of Ondo State and the Makoko community in Lagos State have raised alarm over government’s non-challant attitude to ending the raging fire on Ororo-1 oil facility in the past three and half years.

The fishing communities also condemned the sand-filling of the Makoko riverine community and the alleged plot by the Lagos State government to takeover the people’s ancestral home.

At a joint press conference facilited by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in Lagos on Monday November 27, 2023, both communites appealed to the Lagos State government and the federal government to come to their rescue.

Both reminded the government that they, like other native Nigerians, were living in their ancestral homes and therefore needed protection and not eviction.

Also read: Crisis brews in Lagos, Makoko community dares govt over land

A fisherman and spokesman for the Awoye community, Temilorun Ajanisegbe, lamented the plight of the Awoye people in Ondo State.

He said that life had become brutal for his people for the past three and a half years of Ororo-1 fire on oil facility in the community.

“This fire has remained since it started. The efforts to stop it were futile as the oil firm, which owned it, abandoned it.

“The fire has affected the means of our livelihood as fishermen.

“Fish are nolonger found in our community as a result of the fire in the oil facility. For us to catch fish, we must go far in the ocean. Our children nolonger go to school because no money to pay their school fees.

“Our health is also in danger as we steadily inhale smoke coming out of the raging fire. Cost of living has gone up soo much in our rural community,” he said.

A cross-section of members of the communities at the event.

He also appealed to the federal government to urgently quench the Ororo-1 fire.

Corroborating, the HOMEF Executive Director, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, described the Ororo-1 inferno as a tragic case of injustice and environmental destruction.

He confirmed that for the past three and a half years, the Ororo -1 Well at OML95 had been burning with no attention from the Federal Government of Nigeria, or the company responsible for it.

Bassey also lamented that the burning well had become a symbol of ecocide and outright neglect by the Nigerian state.

While calling on the government to quench the fire at Awoye, Bassey pointed out that the tragic incident compounded the climate crisis and harms the communities and ecosystems in multiple ways.

On the complain of sand-filling of the Makoko water ways by the Lagos government, Mr. Othman Olaleye of the Fishery Department, Lagos State, blamed the community for its plight.

He accused them of not corporating with government development efforts.

He alleged that members of the community hardly attends government’s meetings to deliberate on their plight ‘despite the absence of regulatory policy on fishing in Lagos.”

Human rights activists and enironmentalists, who attended the event include Achike Chude; Akinbode Oluwafemi of CAPPA; and Betty Abbah.

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