10 October 2011
Orubebe made the appeal in
at a meeting with the Managing Director of Azi Marine and General Service Ltd, Mr Isaac Abakam, and the Head of Idung Adiakot community, Chief Adiakod Okomo. Abuja
The protesting communities are Idung Adiakot, Idung Imose and Esit Urua in Eket Local Government.
The communities had alleged that the contracting firm was planning to dump toxic wastes in their communities.
The minister, however, said the initiative was a remediation contract which was awarded to the firm in December, 2010, to clean up the area.
Orubebe, who gave an assurance that the ministry would create a conducive environment for the contractor to operate, urged the people of the area to cooperate with the firm to ensure the development of the region.
He also said the ministry was uncomfortable with the heads of Idung Imose and Esit Urua for not honouring its invitation to the meeting.
But speaking with newsmen, Okomo denied that the firm wanted to dump toxic waste in the area.
The community leader claimed that the protest was made by some youths because the project was sited in Idung Adiakot community.
Abakam, on his part, said workers in his firm left the site because of the protest, adding that they would return to site if government settled the impasse.