26 June 2014, Lagos – Pipeline surveillance contractors in Ogoniland have vowed to resist any move by Shell Petroleum Development Company to terminate their contract.
Shell had during a meeting with the contractors informed them that their pipeline surveillance job would come to an end by June 30, 2014.
The pipeline surveillance contractors, who spoke under the auspices of Oil Field Landlord Contractors Association of Nigeria said in Port Harcourt that the oil firm’s move to stop their contract would bring crisis to Ogoniland.
National President of the association, Pastor James Bebe, expressed the need for Shell to resolve the matter in order to avoid crisis.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Bebe maintained that the pipeline surveillance contractors would not leave the oil company’s facilities at the end of the month.
He added that the contractors would not allow Shell to use and dump them.
“Shell is trying to cause crisis in Ogoniland through the directive that our pipeline surveillance contract should be terminated.
“The contractors that Shell is accusing today are the same contractors that stood by Shell when they found it difficult to enter Ogoniland.
“Some of us were beaten by our people. Some of us even ran away from our homes and lost our property. Now they want to dump us.
“They told us that after 30th of June, 2014, our services would no longer be needed because we were bold to tell Shell the wrong side of them. How can Shell remove contract from landlords to community leaders in the name of forming a cluster board?
“The only thing they could achieve in what they are doing is to instigate crisis among Ogoni people, which is the best way of diverting the mind of Ogoni from UNEP report.
“But let me make it clear that we will not leave the sites after June 30th. The pipeline surveillance contractors in Ogoni will not abandon the job,” Bebe insisted.
Responding, General Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relations of Shell, Mr. Nedo Osayande, explained that working with the Cluster Board Development became necessary in order to give communities more responsibility for monitoring oil theft.
– The Punch