Three brothers from Amaudara Village in Obeabo Autonomous Community, Izombe of Oguta LGA, Imo State last weekend met their untimely death as they drowned in an oil waste dump belonging to a multinational oil company, Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited.
The unfortunate incident which has thrown the people of the area into mourning and anguish, it was learnt, claimed the lives of Azubike Durugo, Ebuka Durugo and Chigozie Durugo, all of the same parents.
Nigerian Pilot reliably that the trio got drowned leaving behind the fourth brother, Godspower Durugo and their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nnamdi Durugo, a host of kinsmen and other relatives in utter heartbreak and helplessness.
A source in the community who preferred anonymity, disclosed that one of the deceased, Chigozie had visited the scene for yet undisclosed reason last Friday and did not return.
According to the source, after waiting all day to no avail, the other two brothers, Azubike and Ebuka went in search of him the next day and found his lifeless body floating on the waste pond.
The source further disclosed that Ebuka who tried to drag out his brother’s corpse got trapped in the swampy dump and when his second brother saw that he was drowning, Azubike jumped in to rescue him, but also got trapped and they both drowned.
When news of the dastardly incident hit the village, the perplexed villagers rushed to the scene and effort was made to retrieve the corpses which have been taken to a mortuary.
Following the incident, the Izombe Flow Station of Addax Petroleum have been cordoned off by over 200 security operatives deployed to the place, who restricted movement of non-staff into the premises of the company.
Within the highly tensed environment, with security personnel on red alert, efforts to reach the Superintendent of the Station, Emmanuel Mma for comments proved abortive as Addax Petroleum is yet to make a formal statement on the incident.
It was also gathered that there is heightening tension in the area and palpable fear grips the oil company as it was rumoured that youths from within and outside the community were mobilizing for possible protests against the oil firm.
When contacted, a community leader in the area, Chief Kingsley Mgborogwu expressed doubts over the story of the three brothers drowning, rising suspicion that the boys may have been murdered.
He said that the community strongly suspects that those boys may have been murdered. Addax must have a hand in it and called for autopsy on the body of the deceased to clear the air on the actual cause of their death.
In its reaction, a Non-governmental organization, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption, MIIVOC, described the incident as tragic, even as it called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
MIIVOC Communication Officer, Kingsley Opurum, who made the position of the group known on yesterday expressed sadness at the development and called on relevant authorities to probe the incident.
Opurum warned that his organization will mobilize and descend heavily on anyone or group that attempts to cover up anything concerning the death of the boys pointing out that MIIVOC is gathering necessary information and will make its position on the matter known soon.
However, efforts to reach the parents of the deceased, Mr. and Mrs. Nnamdi Durugo proved abortive.
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