Sam Ikeotuonye 12 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Communities in the Niger Delta quarrelling with Shell Petroleum over the 2011 Bonga oil spill have agreed to drop pending litigations against the multinational oil company and dialogue with it with a view to resolving all differences amicably.
This would be a relief for the oil giant, which have had the dispute with the communities to contend with even after it was fined a whopping N1.84 trillion by the Federal Government over the spill.
As part of the new peace initiative, the communities are already dialoguing with Shell, according to Mr. Monday Francis-Amoma, co-ordinator of the initiative bringing together communities affected by the Shell Bonga oil spill in Niger Delta.
“The aim of the dialogue with Shell is to determine the quantum of the amount of compensation each of the affected communities would receive,” he stated as he equally stressed the new resolve of the communities to work together on the matter.
The Shell Bonga Oil Spill occurred 70 kilometres offshore Delta State in 2011, with its impact remaining a source of concern to the affected communities.
Francis-Amoma said that the spill affected the people, animals and environment.
“After the Shell Bonga spillage, the oil company came with various disinfectants like the Slickgone NS, Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527 and Biosolve to clean up the environment, but these chemicals are harmful to the aquatic life, plants and human beings,” he said.
At a gathering of the affected communities in Warri at the weekend tagged, “Dialogue Conference over the Impact of Shell Bonga Crude Oil Spillage of Dec. 20, 2011,” the communities also resolved to work together to ensure adequate compensation by the oil giant.
They also agreed to support other communities outside the coastline in championing their grievances over the oil spillage if they had substantiated facts.
Francis-Amoma, who led chiefs and leaders of thought in the communities to the gathering, said the forum was aimed at resolving the litigation against the oil company.