PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NIGER DELTA ACTIVISTS FORUM (NDAF), ON THE PHENOMENON OF MILLIONS OF DEAD FISHES BEEN WASHED ASHORE, ALONG THE ATLANTIC SHORELINE OF RIVERS AND AKWA IBOM STATES
About a fortnight ago, we started getting reports of multitudes of fishes in their millions, being washed ashore dead, around the coastal communities and fishing ports along the Atlantic shoreline.
Regrettably, this ugly disaster of global proportion, continued unabated till Friday,17th April 2020.
Sadly, observations from initial investigation reveals effects suspected to be chemical in nature, with the following abnormalities;
i) The fish starts rotting from the tail, as aversed to the natural pattern of starting from the head.
ii) Cysts are clearly seen on the flesh of most of the fishes, with greenish fluid trapped inside.
iii) Some fishes in their millions were noticed, to float out of the sea gasping for breath and finally dies.
iv) Smoked samples clearly defied conventional pattern of emitting body fluid and shrinking homogenously, rather, it was seen to remain fresh and plastic in nature.
Amidst many other awkward observations.
Our prime suspect in this matter is the action of Benzene, Toluene, Ethylene, Xylene and other chemicals from improperly treated production water or gas seepage.
While we await final reports of investigation, into the root cause of this global scale disaster, it is undeniable that the Oil and Gas operations within the Niger Delta region is dealing the death blow to our ecology, economy and our way of life.
Our ecosystem that teems with a robust biodiversity now faces extinction, flora and fauna, including human lives are no longer safe here.
Our land, water and air have been poisoned and that’s why, you see these symptoms of death littering our scapes.
This is a case with the gravest potentials of further lowering life expectancy, affecting and altering our genetic material and design(s).
This is a sentence of death on innocent coastal dwellers. Genocide is served us, on the Atlantic shoreline.
We hereby place the following demands;
1. That a state of emergency on health and environment, be declared along communities on the Atlantic shoreline, spanning from eastern Obolo in Akwa-Ibom State, through Oyorokoto fishing settlement down to the fringes of Finima town and its fishing ports.
2. That critical stakeholders, leaders and notable groups should immediately be summoned to a council with the aim of embarking on massive sensitization on the dangers of eating and selling these chemical soaked fishes.
3i. The Federal Ministries of;
Environment, Petroleum and Health should urgently dispatch a team of health professionals to carry out necessary health services to mitigate challenges on those that have consumed the fish already.
This is the surest way to avert an epidemic outbreak or mass death_ ._
ii. A team of environmental experts should be immediately dispatched, to commence investigation into the remote and immediate causes, of the phenomenon with the inclusion of critical stakeholders to give validity to the final reports and engender trust._
4. All Oil and Gas operations by NLNG, SPDC, NAOC, EROTON, AITEO etc should immediately be reduced or halted around these areas to save the lives of our people, pending the result of the investigations._
6. At this juncture, it has become crucial and overdue for a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) to be conducted across the entire Niger Delta region, to ascertain the safety of our people owing to the hazards posed by Oil and Gas operation within our homeland. And to guide further decisions and provide more light for good decisions of Government._
7. All Federal agencies who over the years have been receiving monies by law, for ecological matters should rise to the occasion immediately;
i. Niger Delta Developments Commission (NDDC)
ii. Ecology Trust Fund, etc
7. We are also using this medium to call on persons living within the Niger Delta not to eat or sell these fish.
As we try to survive this chemical siege, it is time for patriotic actions by Government, corporate bodies and well spirited individuals to save our people and ecosystem.
The Niger Delta Activists Forum shall gladly make its widespread structure, available to assist any effort by Government to save the situation
However, we will be forced to review the situation and decide on an alternative cause of action, should the agencies and Ministries named above decide to neglect our propositions and demands within the next fourteen days.
God bless us all.
For: The Niger Delta People.
Comrade Success Jack
(National President, Niger Delta Activists Forum)
Comrade Ambrose Obioha
( National Spokesman, Niger Delta Activists Forum)
Comrade Tamunoimama Tamunobelema
(Chairman Rivers State chapter)