20 October 2014, Lagos – Some Niger Delta groups have raised the alarm that peace may once more become elusive in the area unless the federal government moved in to check plots to shunt their people out of oil businesses.
In an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, the groups said that Shell Petroleum Development Company had engineered a means of blocking their people from concessions in the oil and gas business by insisting they would only deal with those that had done business with them whereas the region had been denied such opportunities.
“We are compelled to make this urgent call as to absolve ourselves from the long arms of prosperity which shall constantly hunt our conscience should we stay indifferent in the face of gruesome injustice against our (Niger Delta) Land and People.
“Sir, we have been patient for many years watching and hoping that you have addressed the injustice which former President Olushegun Obasanjo matted on the entire people of Nigeria, especially targeting the people of Niger Delta. When on assumption of office he sold off the 130 oil concessions (being all that was left in the country), in such a questionable manner and to the detriment of the Niger Deltans as no single Niger Deltan was allowed to take part in the process, talk less of benefiting, except for Northerners and his kinsmen in the west who were favored, to the total exclusion of persons and entities from the Niger Delta Region.
“This evil Multi National which is known for its horrendous act around the world has decided to exclude persons and or entities of Niger Delta in the sale of their equity, saying only companies that they have dealt with in the past will be allowed to buy their equities, and thereby clearly scheming out, and totally excluding persons as well as entities from Niger Delta, knowing that our people has grossly been marginalized in the past and not allowed to deal with SPDC and therefore not being part of that category.
“We consider this deliberate evil attempt by SPDC to deal with only companies which they have done business with in past for the sale of their concessions as being highly repugnant to Natural Justice, Equity and good Conscience, and especially targeted at discriminating against the people and land of Niger Delta and as such must be met with extreme resistance by our people and other well-meaning and right thinking members of the public”, they lamented.
The petition which was signed by Chairman, South-South Youth Leaders Forum, Amb. Odiedim Amachree; Chairman, Coalition of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities & President, Rivers State Youth Federation Comrade Adokiye Majito; President Federation Union of Ogoni Youths Worldwide, Amb. Kenule Nwiya; President, Edo Youth Council, Aluyah Dauda Okoduah and Spokesperson, Ijaw Lawyers Association, Mr. Kelvin Zige warned of dire consequences should the injustice not be reversed.
“Since it is very obvious that Shell is conniving with haters of Niger Delta, to cripple the land and people of the region economically, we wish to state that while they MAY have the right to sell to whomever they wish, such person can never step a foot on our soil to operate such concessions as Enough is Enough, it must be stated that the activities of SPDC in Ogoni Land and the attendant disaster is still very fresh in our memory and their antics now known by all, but we shall stop them this time.
“Finally Sir, we call on you to swing into action and address this injustice which certainly has the potential to generate avoidable crisis between the people of Niger Delta, SPDC and indeed those who are instigating SPDC to proceed on such an uncivil behaviour. We therefore urge that a quick action is taking as our people are running out of patience, and the temptation for self-help is mounting”, they concluded.