Residents of Gelegele community in the Ovia North-East local government area of Edo state reveled that five people have lost their lives following the emission of gas from a private oil company.
The people lamented that the deaths occurred due to daily exposure to environmental hazards, adding that many community members were currently suffering from different ailments as a result of the continuous flaring of gas.
A member of the Ijaw youth of Edo state, Joseph Gbale, said that in spite of the Federal Governments promises that gas flaring by oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta region would come to an end in December 31, 2013, the problem had still persisted.
Gbale, identified the victims as Ibote Ossia, Aladin Iyefabiri, Anthony Adeyemi, Roland Ofunama and Aboy Donyegha. He urged the Federal Government to set up measures in relocating the gas flare site to save the lives of the residents.
He said, “The state and federal governments should, as a matter of urgent national importance, prevail on the oil firm to relocate the flaring of gas from Gelegele community as several lives have been lost.”
On behalf of the Ijaw youths of Edo state group, Gbale appealed to the state government to appoint an Ijaw person to the board of Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Area Development Commission, and Federal Government to fast-track the construction of a seaport in the area to promote the economy.
“The Federal Government should immediately commence work on the Gelegele Seaport as this will bring development and business opportunities to Edo people as well as job creation to our teeming unemployed youths,” he said.