Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:38 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
Residents of Akoka-Yaba particularly those along Abdulahi Street, stretching to St Finbarr’s College road, Yaba, Lagos State, have cried out over oil spillage by a Total Filling Station in the area, urging Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to come to their rescue and bring Total to justice as their efforts have been neglected by the authorities contacted to provide respite.
Their complaint is that the underground storage tank used for the storage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Total Filling Station located along St Finbarr’s College road had leaked over a long period, emptying its entire content into the surrounding soil and groundwater.
They disclosed further that the intensity of the pollution is so grave that on a particular occasion a fried yam seller’s coal fell into the wet gutter and immediately got ignited.
The residents are worried that despite efforts made to attract the attention of relevant bodies to arrest the looming disaster, neither Total nor all the agencies contacted including LASEPA, DPR, NOSDRA etc., are doing anything encouraging to contain the situation.
Spokesperson for the group, Ifeamaka Umeike, at a Press briefing in Lagos disclosed that the neglect by Total and other government agencies had become worrisome as residents were exposed to hazardous health risks.
Umeike, who is versed in her knowledge of oil and gas as an industrial hygienist said that she has become target of attack by Total for standing out to insist that the right thing must be done, while urging the public to hold Total Filling station responsible should anything happen to her life.
“We want to bring to the notice of the public the danger that we have been living with as Total Filling station located along St Finbarr’s College road have polluted our drinking water with their leaking tank.
“We have written to Total and they seem to be playing politics with the life of residents who they think are ignorant of the danger posed by the contamination. “We are not ignorant of the toxic components of PMS.
“The situation has not been treated with the urgency it deserves. The hazard attached to exposure to PMS is huge as it is common knowledge that oil spillage takes long time to incubate and there is always upsurge to cancer-related diseases that will abound,” Umeike noted.
She said that it was sad that despite all peaceful approach to Total Plc to do the needful, they have continued to treat them with dishonour, despite the standard set in the oil and gas industry on remediation.
“They think we do not know our right. We intend to take it beyond here if they continue in this lackadaisical manner. Total must be made to pay for all this. They have employed a system of divide and conquer but they will be shocked where we will take them to get justice and nothing will stop us from getting justice. There must be immediate medical examination of affected residents.”