Uzere kingdom demands compensation from Shell for death of villagers

Emma Amaize

7 December 2011, Sweetcrde, WARRI – THE people of Uzere in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State have demanded for compensation for the families of the three persons that were shot dead by security agents, as well as other victims of last week’s clash between the community and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, over Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMOU.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Omamofe Pirah at a meeting with SPDC and representatives of the community, last week, in Warri, advised the company to sign a GMOU with Uzere community.

But Shell in a response to an inquiry by Vanguard before the meeting said it had phased out the signing of GMOU with communities and was liaising with the state government to resolve the issue.

It does not seem, however, from available feeler that the state government is in support of its apparent refusal to sign a GMOU with Uzere people, and according to a source, the Commissioner told the company’s representatives to come with a draft of its GMOU with Uzere people to the next meeting.

President-general of Uzere kingdom, Chief Owhe Emeakpor told a government delegation, led by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Relations, Barrister Clement Osieta, which was in the town on a fact-finding visit, during the week, that Shell must also pay compensation to the community for the havoc wreaked by its security agents.

The government delegation visited the SPDC flow station in Uzere, the burnt palace of the monarch and the hospital where the corpses of the three dead villagers were deposited to see things for themselves.

His words, “Let me state that given the intolerable level of frustration from Shell to our people, the brigandage exploitation of our resources and the careless disposition of Shell to our deplorable plight, we are resolved that Shell, from now onwards, should cease all operations in our land until it has entered an agreement in form of GMOU with Uzere kingdom”.

“Also, the company has to settle the present avoidable crisis it created by the unnecessary death visited on us by the military in support of Shell- the destruction and burning of over 15 motor-cycles and the burning down of the king’s palace and this includes the payment of various compensation to the victims and Uzere kingdom”, he asserted.

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