About 20 communities affected by oil spill in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have demanded compensation for damages done to their farmlands.
The communities affected by the oil spill include Mese, Gbakura, Awoye, Akintola, Jero, Odofado, Oroto, Aiyetoro, Ilowo, Obe-nla, Okupi and Ogundeje, Ogbaro, Ilowo, Odonla, Megba, Enikanselu mainly in Ugbo Kingdom.
Some of the residents, who spoke with SaharaReporters said the level of damage done by the pollution had become hazardous to their health.
They affirmed that the spillage was noticed at a location known as ‘Single Pole Ikorigho’, and was caused by ongoing work at Ororo Field.
According to them, the pollution had affected their only means of livelihood, which is fishing and farming.
The residents also complained that the oil company that caused the situation had done nothing to cushion the effect of the damage to their farmlands despite their outcry.
Iwatan Oluwafemi, a resident in one of the affected communities, said the water they drink had already been contaminated as a result of the oil spill.
“This people have come to explore our oil which God gave but they have now destroyed our farmlands and are not ready to pay us any compensation.”
Barrister Benson Enikuomehin, an indigene of Ilaje, said local farmers could no longer go to their farms for planting and harvesting due to the level of destruction.
He said the communities were ready to drag the oil company to court if they failed to compensate those whose farmlands have been destroyed by oil spillage.
A monarch in one of the affected communities blamed the state government for the activities of oil companies in the region.
He said, “I don’t want to talk much because it would look as if we haven’t seen anything good about this present government on board but we are ready to take both the oil company and the state government to court.
“The truth of the matter is that my people are suffering and this government seems to be comfortable even when we could not access our farmlands and fish in own water because of oil spill.”
When contacted by SaharaReporters, Mr Funso Esan, Commissioner for Environment in the state, said the government had sent a fact-finding committee to assess the level of damages in affected communities.
He hinted that the outcome of the investigation of the committee was being awaited by government before necessary action would he taken, noting that people should exercise patience and also embrace peace.