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Save Emereoke Communities Now: UTONO OBOLO Reaches Out to FG and Others

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PRESS RELEASE: ON THE INCIDENCE OF FLOOD DISASTER IN EMEREOKE KINGDOM OF EASTERN OBOLO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, MONDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER 2020.

 

His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, the Commander In- Chief of the Arm Forces of Nigeria

The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel

The Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment,

The Hon. Minister,
Niger Delta Affairs Ministry: Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio

The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Sir Charles Udoh

The Executive Chairman Eastern Obolo Local Government Council

The Ag. Managing Director,
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

Heads of International Oil Companies (IOCs) Operating within Emereoke Territories

All the media house represented here.

Good Morning Ladies and Gentile men.

We, UTONO OBOLO Worldwide (Socio-Cultural Organization primarily concerned with the Welfare and Development of the OBOLO Nation) humbly request that you kindly come to our rescue in embarking on “Embankment of the Shorelines/River Banks of Emereoke & Surrounding Communities” to protect our land from incessant Flood Disaster which threatens our existence

We hereby bring to your notice the unfortunate incidence of the recent flood disaster ravaging our Communities. In the early hours of Sunday, September 20, 2020, most parts of the Community were submerged by water

This disaster has brought untold hardship upon the people of Emereoke as many families were displaced, houses destroyed, properties worth several millions of naira has been lost due to the flood incidence.

Our people are psychologically and economically destabilized with tension everywhere at the moment, exposing our lives to greater health and environmental risks.

The Affected Areas: Emereoke Kingdom is an island. Its communities and people are situated by the bank of ‘Okwan Obolo’ estuary. It’s bounded in the west by Obianga/Iko Nta, east by Akpabom and Elekpon, north by Isiotoyo, and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Emereoke Kingdom comprises five gazetted communities – Emereoke 1, Emereoke 2, Emeremen, Okwan Obolo, and Otunene. Other communities of the kingdom yet to be gazetted are Agansa, Agbama, Amanwon, Emenokook, Emenasa, Ibot-oson, Inyon Oron and Udum Unene. All communities are presently situated in Ward 5, Eastern Obolo LGA, Akwa Ibom State except Otunene which is in Ward 4 in Eastern Obolo LGA of Akwa-Ibom State.

The primary occupation of Emen-Oke people is predominantly fishing. Emereoke Kingdom is one of the major Oil Producing Community and host to some multinational oil companies. The Kingdom houses Oil Well 13, Well X, Well Y, among other unnamed wells and export line isolation point 1 of OML 13 formerly owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) recently acquired by NPDC and currently operated by Sterling Global. The Community is one of the core host to Amni International Petroleum Development Company operating offshore of Eastern Obolo. It is also reported that the kingdom has the largest gas deposits in West Africa (SPDC bulletin, 2001).

However, we have been neglected over the years, our drinking water and land being polluted by crude oil spills and our shorelines unprotected against disasters.

The identified likely causes of this severe flooding include: increase in the tidal waves occasioned by rain, environmental degradation associated with activities of crude oil exploration and production by Oil Companies operating in the area, leading to marine, gully, and sheet erosions and continuous Atlantic ocean incursion on the shorelines and consequent flooding of Emereoke Kingdom.

Before this unfortunate development, NEMA had predicted that Emereoke is one of the communities likely to be affected by flood. Our people have made series of representations to relevant government authorities and the oil companies on the impending danger of being submerged by the Atlantic Ocean surge and requested for embankment to avert this imminent danger all to no avail. Emereoke Kingdom is in danger of being extinct if no urgent action is taken by the relevant authorities. We have lived here for hundreds of years with our children, we have no other place to call home, save our lives now!

We humbly request as follows: That:-

i. Relief Materials including Food Items, Clothings, Beddings, Good Drinking Water Supply, Healthcare facilities, etc. be provided for the affected Communities as a matter of urgency;

ii. SHORELINES of Emen-Oke and surrounding Communities (Obianga, ikonta etc.) be PROTECTED through Concrete EMBANKMENT as done in other islands like Opobo Kingdom and others to forestall future occurrence;

iii. Sustainable Water Supply (functional borehole) be provided for Emen-Oke Community to prevent cholera outbreak;

iv. Emereoke Communities be considered for other developmental/intervention projects like provision of good drinking water and other basic amenities being carried out by your agency to improve the lives of our people, please.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long live Akwa Ibom State
Long Live Eastern Obolo Local Government Area
Long live Emereoke Kingdom

Signed:

Engr. Iroigak Ikann, Chairman, Technical Committee on Emereoke Flood Mitigation

Mr. Isijaan A. Nkanta
Chairman, Emereoke Flood Intervention & Relief Committee

Dr. Dressman Romsan
Administrator-General, UTONO OBOLO Worldwide

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