THREE teenagers have died in Lotugbene community in Bayelsa State after allegedly drinking water from a river polluted by the rig operation of an oil company in the area.
The affected children, Osumayin Eniye, 7 years; Kpegbolo Oyadonbenfa, 5 years and Boroyegha, 10 years, supposedly died of cholera after vomiting and stooling for a while.
The river is the only source of drinking water to the community.
Irate chiefs, elders and youth leaders of the community have consequently handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the company to quit the area.
A source said the quality of water in Lotugbene was affected since October 6, 2011 when the oil company started drilling a rig and allegedly polluted the entire river in the process.
Leaders of the community, Chief Noel Babazouwei, Wilfred Ikere and Isaac lamented that efforts to reach the oil company, which they accused of forcefully encroaching on Tinpa AOPL282 location proved abortive, as the company had remained incommunicado.
They said they had written to the Presidency, National Assembly, Governor Henry Dickson of BayelsaState and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on their plight, but no respite yet.
The community, however, said it was disposed to dialogue with the company within the seven days, but if the company ignored the ultimatum, then, it could not guarantee the safety of the firm’s officials in the area.