Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into the mysterious deaths that have reportedly claimed about 13 lives within a few days in Bonny Island of Rivers State.
The House ordered the investigation following the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance moved by Hon. Dagogo Farah at the emergency plenary held yesterday.
Moving the motion, the lawmaker recalled that few weeks ago, there was incidence of large quantities of dead fishes around the Bonny-Andoni shores and several other communities in the Niger Delta region stretching up to Ondo and Akwa Ibom States, which had been brought before the House for urgent attention.
Farah said: “Less than six weeks later, mysterious deaths is occurring in Bonny Island in Rivers State, and is reported to have claimed about 13 lives in a few days.”
The lawmaker added that officials of the Rivers State Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) collected samples in Bonny Island for testing to determine what was responsible for the strange occurrence, which some defined the symptoms to include loss of the sense of smell, taste, fever, weakness, vomiting and stooling.
Farah stressed that these symptoms exhibited by the victims are not exactly the same as those of COVID-19, as it neither presents cough or respiratory issues.
He said that Bonny Island is a major export point for oil, and it has the biggest LNG gas plant in Nigeria with six trains, which is the main stay of the Nigerian economy.
The lawmaker also observed that despite Bonny Island’s significant contribution to the national economy, the Island can only be accessed via boats and ferries; and without a link road connecting it to other parts of the Rivers State and Nigeria, and lacks adequate medical facility.
He expressed worry that due to the challenge of transportation and communication, it is usually difficult to get help or even access medical facilities in Port-Harcourt or any other part of the country.