By Suoyo Ekubo
The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission (BSOEC) will today Tuesday May 16 formally present the final report of its investigation into the impact of oil exploration activities on the state to the international community.
The BSOEC is chaired by a number of renowned dignitaries in the governance and international development arena, including Baroness Valerie Amos and former Ghanaian president, John Kuffuor.
A statement signed by Daniel Alabrah, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Douye Diri revealed that the report will be presented at the House of Lords in London to further draw global attention to the devastating effects of oil pollution in Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta region.
The BSOEC was set up in 2019 by former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, who is now Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, to conduct extensive investigation and research in order to establish the environmental, human and economic impact of oil pollution on the state.
Its findings and far-reaching recommendations are in the report titled: “An Environmental Genocide: Counting the Human and Environmental Cost of Oil in Bayelsa, Nigeria,” and seeks global attention and partnership to mitigate the effect of environmental degradation on people of the state.
The commission’s findings revealed that “few places have suffered more than the state of Bayelsa, which sits at the heart of the Niger Delta. Home to Nigeria’s first commercial oil well, Bayelsa accounts for about 18-20 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production.
“While the state accounts for only slightly over one per cent of Nigeria’s total population, it is estimated to have suffered over a quarter of total recorded instances of oil pollution.”
Among those to grace the event are the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Amb. Sarafadeen Tunji Isola, renowned environmentalist and Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom in Bayelsa State, King Bubaraye Dakolo, and former Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.