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The Plight of Emago-Kugbo – Nigeria’s First Crude Loading Bay

(This is a message sent to all member’s of the Facebook Group I Am a Niger-Deltan and Proud of It Too).

A while ago, I never believed that in Rivers State, Nigeria, there would exist a place without phone service, Water, Light or even a straight forward linking Road.

I visited the Emago-Kugbo Community in Abua-Odua LGA of Rivers State severally in the early part of 2010 (strictly business, they have a good but rapidly dwindling logging industry there) and though I saw it as an adventure, I was still shocked at what experienced.

1.) There was no direct access road to the community: There are 2 ways to get there, either a long waist-breaking speed boat ride (bigger boats can’t go in as the waterways where blocked with water hyacinth) or a convoluted 4 Hour Journey through Bayelsa state (for a community in Rivers State) via Vehicle, Feet and “Okada” (you must use all three).


2.) There was no GSM service: For the first time in years, a technology addict like me spent days disconnected from the world. There was no GSM service anywhere (I discovered call centers with phones connected to TV poles though :-) where you had to do a lot of guesswork to understand the other party). On my second visit though I discovered a certain window close to the church there where you can get a bar of Glo service (trust me, I practically moved to that window).

3.) No Fish (& meat) : I know it looks funny adding this, but I’m a core Rivers Man who enjoys good (& complete food). I was told by indigenes that as a result of numerous oil spills, the rivers which where teeming with Fish not too long ago had died so in other to eat fish, you’d have to go to places where they’d imported the fish from other villages (or you could eat iguana (which’s still tasty by the way)). I won’t start with meat at all, for a riverine community without fish, imagine what the meat issue would be.

4.) No Potable Water (in the middle of Water): I saw, & operated my first manual hand-pump (from its inscription donated in the 1980’s) when I got to this community. It was fun but saddening because I was on a partial drinking water fast all through (had to bring water along for the next visit).

5.) No Light: “No Light”, this is a cliche statement in Nigeria I know, but I think when you get to a community which has “NEPA” poles there for only artistic reasons, you would start getting thankful for the once in a week light you get. There was not a “drop” of light all through my stay there and the ubiquitous “I pass my neighbour” was in full force there (with fuel at exhorbitant rates).

I had health issues after a while (not from there though), so could not return to complete the business I had but I am writing this, not to make fun of or deride any community but to bring to our attention, from a first-hand view, the situation in our Niger Delta Communities.

I visited the place in January 2010 and totally forgot about my experiences there till I read a story on Page 86 of the May Edition of the Vanguard Sweet crude (read online at http://www.vanguardngr.com/sweetcrude/2011/may/index.html) which Described the place as Nigeria’s first crude oil Loading Bay, the first place where crude from Oloibiri was shipped out.

I was shocked that a place with such historical value could be treated in that manner, but then, we all hae heard the story of Oloibiri. I strongly believe that we should take more care of our Oil Bearing Communities because as a Finite resource, someday we would run out of Oil but we are yet to run out of Humans to inhabit these communities.

We have over 3000 members in this group and I believe we all can make a contribution in making the Niger Delta a Home we can be proud of.

This is one of many stories from around our region.

Do you Have any experiences? Feel free to share your own stories, photos and videos on the group wall at https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26452111418 .

Also invite your friends.

Thank You for your Time & I really wish you have a wonderful weekend.

Peter Banigo.

More Links

http://www.stakeholderdemocracy.org/Emago-Kugbo.htm

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/02/oil-spill-hits-emago-kugbo-community/

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10 Responses to “The Plight of Emago-Kugbo – Nigeria’s First Crude Loading Bay”

  • koko:

    Well, it’s sad that this is d case in this age & time. I pray smthg is done. I can’t imagine what it is like to live like that

  • jay:

    All I can say……May God continue to bless Nigeria….May God continue to show his richness in Nigeria and may that richness be also seen by the humble and less privilege.May the “about-to-start-a-family generation” bestow in our future leaders of tomorrow one thing…….CONSCIENCE!!…..For it is only when man has a conscience, will he treat his fellow man how he wishes to be treated. According to Jean Paul Richter…..The conscience of children is formed by the influences that surround them;their notions of good and evil, are the result of the moral atmosphere they breathe.
    God bless Nigeria.

  • May:

    This should be a historical tourist attraction if the authorities ranging from the three levels of government and the various oil companies know what they are doing. Is there a historical society in the area? Do they know their responsibility?

  • MGBEOMA:

    May God help Nigeria, actually am a corps member batch C and i was posted to this community in question, with this story am afraid. i really need advice on what to do to help this community.

  • Ben Anthony Okon:

    Love your articles for writing about the urban people I really appreciate thanks and more greece to your elbo

  • Ben:

    Thankz £or the post am related to this community coz my Mum is an indigene o£ the community,all that Banigo said are all true but now there is MTN network,you can browse,make calls etc.

  • Ben Anthony Okon:

    It quite unfortunate that some people don’t believe that there is such a place in rivers state,till date there is no network,linking road,water,light and above all oil spillage. The community for over fourteen years have not received any government official except a counselor who can not table their problems before the government not alone solve them.GOVERNMENT PLEASE DO SOMETHING AS EMAGO KUGBO IS PART OF RIVERS STATE AND NIGERIA

  • Ben Anthony Okon:

    I commented about emago kugbo on August 10 2013 and never knew that my God given wife was from there and we will be getting married soon in Emago kugbo.Government have to do something about emago kugbo urgently as the situation is horrible and terrible

  • ibeamaranancy:

    what I read here is true of the community.Am a teacher posted. here.when I first came, there was no network.we stayed days without communicating with the outside world but as I type this,am typing in from the community…alas! There is network but we still need tarred road n electricity.

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