By Alagoa Morris
ERA/FoEN did a follow up to the Aunty Julie fire incident which occurred in the night of 28 September and documented on 29 September. The thrust was to get more photos and hear exactly how the fire was put out.
To this end, ERA/FoEN reached out to the Chairman of the Community Development Committee [CDC] of Sangana, Barr. Benjamin Ayibatonye While it was initially reported that help was being awaited from Chevron fire fighters and equipment; it turned out to be it was community folks who put out the fire at last.
In the words of Benjamin Ayibatonye:
‘’ Actually, at the end of the day, It was not the Chevron people who came and put off the fire. One Ene Owei, a fire fighter from Sangana community at about 9:00am on Friday, went to Aunty Julie, Conoil platform with the team of boys from the community to fight the fire and, did so for about two hours and was able to put the fire off at about 11:00am on the platform and, in the presence of Engineer Oma, the Operational Manager of Conoil and one Mr. Bello Bina, who flew with helicopter to the platform. Thereafter, the team of boys were appreciated with a token of N1. 5million as a way of saying, well done by Engineer Oma’’
Earlier, the CDC Chairman had informed ERA/FoEN that the community person who led the team of community youths, Ene Owei is a fire fighter and works with the Nigeria Agip Oil Company [NAOC]. He was on off-duty and in his community when this incident happened and he intervened. This is highly commendable. ERA/FoEN reached to a staff of NAOC and, it was confirmed that actually Ene Owei is a staff currently with Agip and on off duties.
The role played by Ene Owei and other youths of Sangana community on this matter is highly commendable; not only for their bravery but considering the negative image oil companies also associated with youths in their areas of operation. This is a positive example of community assistance to oil operations.
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM COMMUNITY SOURCES