Mkpoikana Udoma 25 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Dutch multinational oil company Shell has been asked to stop its operations at Apara Flow Station I in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The paramount ruler of Rumuola, His Royal Highness Oziri C. Oziri, gave the warning during a peaceful protest by Rumuokwuta and Rumuola communities at the location of the flow station.
The monarch, who is the spokesperson of both communities, said the two host communities (Rumuokwuta and Rumuola) decided to evict the Dutch oil giant since it was done with its exploration and production activities in the area.
Oziri lamented that the landlords have never benefited from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC’s, presence since 1958 when the company commenced operations on their soil.
The communities are also asking for remediation and other rights in order to enable them re-possess their land, which Shell has occupied for over 58 years.
“The aim of this protest is to inform the government and the entire world how badly the oil company has treated us over the decades.
“Apara Location 1 is also one of the first oil wells discovered in this country after that of Oloibiri in Bayelsa State.
“All other locations have been relinquished to their landlords which are now under use, except Apara Location 1. Why is ours different?” he queried.
The Nye-Nwe-Eli Rumuola further explained that since Shell’s arrival to their communities, they had never recorded any crisis as it is visible in other areas, saying it would be worthwhile for the oil firm to also vacate their land in the same spirit.
According to the royal father, all the communities demand was their fundamental right and not a ransom as no hostage was taken.
SweetcrudeReports gathered that Shell had security agents at the facilities to check and monitor the activities of the indigenes so as to prevent any vandalism of its property.
Responding, Shell’s spokesperson, Mr. Joseph Obari, in a text message, toldSweetcrudeReports that “SPDC is working to conclude handover of the land in question to the owners, in accordance with applicable laws”. Incidental issues are also being addressed for final close out, he added.