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Government’s Questionable Burning of Crude Oil Smuggling Vessels, Environmentalist Lament Senseless Eco Devastation

Mr. Chima Williams, the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), has issued a stern warning to security agencies operating in the Niger Delta region. He urges them to stop the environmentally damaging practice of burning vessels carrying stolen crude oil, which is currently their method of destroying recovered illicit products.

Williams expressed serious concern about the environmental impact of this practice, describing it as a threat to both human lives and the ecosystem. He explained that incinerating crude oil ships releases harmful chemicals into surrounding bodies of water, negatively affecting aquatic life and potentially compromising human health.

“Such actions lead to the dispersal of high-level chemical debris, which is then carried by tides to other regions, causing widespread environmental damage,” Williams stated. He further mentioned that the potential health issues may not be immediately apparent but would inevitably affect the local communities primarily engaged in fishing and farming.

Besides its environmental and health consequences, this practice also causes economic damage, according to Williams. Not only does it wipe out the livelihoods of local people when the chemical waste pollutes their fishing and farming ecosystems, but it also wastes potential national resources. The destroyed crude oil, if properly managed, could have contributed to the nation’s economy by funding infrastructure and improving living conditions.

He criticized the practice as a violation of the rule of law, arguing that it prevents proper legal proceedings for those involved in the illegal oil operations. Williams urged the military and security forces to reconsider their strategy and adopt practices that respect environmental health and protection.

SOURCE: ThisDayLive

IMAGE: Premium Times

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