MKPOIKANA UDOMA 25 September 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Over 1,000 women, youths and children of Akpajo community in Eleme Local Government Area in Rivers State Thursday morning staged a peaceful protest, over alleged neglect of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, operating in the area.
Youth President of Akpajo, Comrade Tobiah Okanje, during the protest, alleged that the community had not benefited anything from more than 40 years of SPDC’s operations in the area.
He challenged Shell to point out any project it had carried out in the community or any form of empowerment it has provided for the indigenes.
According to Okanje, “Having these manifold resources here, even other communities that does not have crude oil as much as here, they have been enjoying many amenities from Shell. But in Akpajo, not even one single borehole; we don’t have one single borehole dug by Shell, we don’t even have one kilometre road done by Shell.
“Akpajo people have not benefited anything from Shell since its existence, even before I was born. I am forty something years now; I have not seen one thing that Shell has done for Akpajo community. If they say they have done something, they should come down and show us any of their projects in Akpajo, or they should show us an Akpajo youth that they have employed, or show us an Akpajo youth that they have taken for industrial training”
Also speaking, the Community Development Chairman of Akpajo-Eleme, Mr. Edward Kenwijaka threatened that the youths will shut down Shell operations in the area, if the company failed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the host community.
Meanwhile, the management of SPDC is yet to react to the allegations raised by the people of Akpajo in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State. Efforts to contact Mr Precious Okolobor, Shell Nigeria spokesman proved unsuccessful.