The Paramount Ruler/Nyenweli Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Eze Christian Evekwuru has commiserated with the families of victims of the fire disaster that occurred in the community on Friday, March 3, 2023 as a result of illegal bunkering activities in the area.
Investigation revealed that over 20 persons lost their lives while others sustained various degrees of injury.
Speaking with newsmen shortly in his palace, the paramount ruler blamed the unfortunate incident on hunger and poverty.
He recalled that since1958 that oil exploration started in the area, the oil companies have not bothered to employ any Rumuekpe youth neither have they bothered to establish any industry to take care of them.
“What the oil companies do is to cleverly avoid the community leaders and rather engage some dubious characters of their choice as pipeline surveillance agents and other menial jobs without the knowledge or involvement of the community leaders, hence these persons easily sabotage them at will”, he said.
The monarch lamented that despite the presence of four oil companies in his community including SPDC, AGIP, TOTAL and NDPR, there is nothing to show for it, except incessant fire outbreaks and other calamites on the community.
The monarch appealed to the FG and the oil companies to collaborate efforts and consider compensating the families of the victims whom he described as mainly strangers in their midst.
He made it clear that these Rumuekpe youths got involved out of frustration for not benefitting from their God-given resources in anyway.
He however exonerated the Rumuekpe community of any blame as according to him “these companies never cared to officially contact or work with them, adding that whenever the right thing is done, most of the frictions, protests, pipeline vandalization and oil bunkering as well as other vices will be a thing of the past.