Concerned groups, including environmental rights groups and ethnic youth leaders, have welcomed the findings of the joint investigation visit which attributed the recent oil spill in Nembe to human sabotage.
The groups, which include Friends of the Environment, Nigerian Ethnic Youth Leaders Council (NEYLC), the Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM), and the African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR) made their positions known in their separate reactions to the findings.
They described the report that human sabotage caused the spill as truth based on science and facts that must be applauded by all stakeholders.
They agreed that the findings should be used to get the culprits and avert future occurrences.
The groups, in applauding AITEO which has been vindicated by the findings, said they entertained no fear from the beginning that being a socially responsible company, the spill could not have been caused by AITEO’s negligence.
They said the report which absolved the company of any fault or wrongdoing has further confirmed the saying that if lies travel for 20 years, the truth will catch up with it in one day.
“This is a vindication for AITEO. Findings have shown that the spill, as we have been suspecting from the beginning, was an act of sabotage by enemies of the Federal Government and a plot to undermine President Buhari’s Niger Delta agenda,” the NEYLC, which is made up of the Arewa Consultative Youth Movement, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Movement, Oduduwa Youths and Middle Belt Youths said in a statement signed by the Acting Head of the coalition’s secretariat, Nduka Edede Chinomso .
The Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) regretted that while experts in the industry, with their science-based evidence, believe the spill was sabotage, the Bayelsa State Government’s agents were using emotion to look for scapegoats.
“What the findings have shown us that the Bayelsa State Government had since been playing on the emotion of the people of the area and indeed all stakeholders.
“With this evidence and science-based findings, we hope that the state government will be humble enough to make a public apology based on the wrong position it earlier took on the matter,” the group said in a statement.
The popular environmental rights group, Friends of the Environment, in its separate statement, said the issue of the six persons who were arrested at the scene at about 2.30 am when the spill happened should not be overlooked by the state government.
It said in a statement, “Six persons were said to have been arrested at the scene at an ungodly hour of about 2.30 am.
“This revelation is very key and should not be overlooked by the state government and all others concerned.”
The Arewa Consultative Youth Movement (ACYM), in a separate statement, said the findings have left no one in doubt concerning the cause of the spill.
“Even the man from Ministry of Environment who said he had reservations was convinced when an expert addressed his fears,” ACYM said in a statement.
The African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), in a statement by its coordinator, Nduka-Edede Chinomso, also said the findings have been proven to be the handiwork of saboteurs and enemies of President Buhari’ efforts to drive revenue while preserving the environment
It said, “evidence from the joint investigation panel confirms earlier information that the spill was an act of national sabotage by enemies of the Buhari regime to sabotage the Federal Government’s revenue drive, destabilize the Niger Delta region and undermine the President’s ongoing peacebuilding efforts in that region.