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Monarchs seek Buhari’s intervention in oil spill disputes in Niger Delta

The Akwa Ibom Paramount Rulers’ Forum has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari,  to help resolve disputes between oil companies and the host communities over oil spill in Niger Delta region.

The forum made the appeal in Uyo on Thursday while addressing newsmen on the plights of traditional rulers, whose royal throne had been desecrated by kidnappers.

The traditional ruler of Itu Local Government Area, Obong Edet Inyang, lamented that the royal fathers had been subjects to attack and abduction.

He alleged that because of non-payment oil spill compensation by ExxonMobil,  since 2010, his colleague, the traditional ruler of Esit Eket, Obong Peter Assam, was kidnapped.

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Inyang said that the abducted monarch was kidnapped along with his pregnant wife and four children.

He said the monarch’s pregnant wife and children were released 15 days after abduction when the woman gave birth in the kidnappers’ hideout.

“The whereabouts of the paramount ruler is still unknown,” Inyang said.

He recalled that in 2010, a paramount ruler was abducted for allegedly receiving oil spill compensation from Mobil and he spent 23 days in Cameroon forest with the abductors before his release.

The royal father then called on the President to look into the oil spill disputes in the state starting from 1998 to 2016.

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He further appealed to the president to investigate the whereabouts of the alleged oil spill compensation allegedly released by ExxonMobil in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively.

“We understand that the thinking and belief of the kidnappers and other subjects is that there is no way Mobil could pay palliatives without the payment of main oil spill compensation.

“In fact, it is widely believed within the core communities of Akwa Ibom that Mobil had released May 1, 2010 oil spill compensation through the presidency,” the royal father alleged.

He noted that the major oil companies in the area had refused to handle the menace of oil spill with internationally accepted standard of practice in oil and gas industry.

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Inyang said that the forum was happy with President Buhari for the court action instituted against the multi-national company over the Bonga oil spill issue.

The forum expressed the hope that the president would bring succour to the affected fishermen and communities impacted by the intermittent oil spill occurring in the area between 2010 and 2016.

Inyang was supported by the paramount rulers of Ini, Ukanafun and Nsit Ibom local government rulers.

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