*Wants a meeting with Kachikwu, NNPC others
25 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has disagreed with the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC’s denial of involvement in the invasion of Belema flow station, which has been shut down by the host communities of OML25 in Rivers State since August 2017.
This comes as SPDC in a statement with the title ‘Shell calls for dialogue on Belema Flow Station’ dissociated itself from the allegations of invading OML25 host communities with armed security operatives to forcefully recommenced oil exploration activities in the seized flow station, as earlier raised by PANDEF.
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, said by now SPDC should have learnt from the colossal damage and hardship their actions have caused the Niger Delta people with reference to the killings in Ogoni and Kula, thus changed their policies on community relations.
Sara-Igbe said it was regrettable that Shell would rather resort to playing politics instead of addressing the issues raised, adding that the Dutch firm has not learnt from the Ogoni crisis to respect the Niger Delta Communities, alleging that Shell’s actions in the past, led to the Ogoni murders and the eventual locking up of the Ogoni oil wells for the past 25 years.
He further alleged that Shell was making plans to secretly sell off OML25 to a firm known as Chester Nig. Limited, warning that any buyer who takes such risk is on its own as Shell must meet the host communities’ demand.
“The SPDC’s denial Press release is a deceit and ploy to mislead the general public into believing that SPDC truly stands for peace in their area of operations and the OML 25 Host Communities in particular when in actual fact they have started with their known antics of divide and rule in connivance with Hon. Rowland Sekibo and their recruited agents to invade and introduce violence, and thuggery in the area.
“These they have achieved, by sending five Naval gunboats and seven speedboats conveying thugs to invade and drive away the protesters at the Belema Flow Station, and to stage a counter-protest.
“Shell, through the Local Government Chairman, Hon. Roland Sekibo, funded the mobilization of thugs with N5,000 each which is less than $20, to stage a counter-protest that Shell must stay, with special pass and heavily armed Navy gunboat given by the Navy Commander, undermining the presence of Army on ground that has maintained peace in the area for over one year.”
Sara-igbe said Kula communities are desirous of peace at all times and are ready to attend any meeting summoned by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
He also accused the company of walking out on the peace meeting called by NNPC and the security agencies in Abuja, without any cogent reason given to NNPC, NAPIMS and the host communities, saying it was a clear display of lack of respect for the country, the Government and the host communities.
“The host communities of Belema, Offoinama amongst others in the Kula Kingdom are peaceful and have also assured NNPC/ NAPIMS and PANDEF that they will ensure the protection of the facilities and everything therein within this period of their occupation and shutdown of the flow station.
“The Host Communities of OML 25, otherwise known as Belema, Offoinama, Ngeje, Kilama, Diaba, Okoama, amongst others and the entire Kula kingdom have resolved that SPDC must go away from the Kula territory. The people are tired of the deceit and the divide and rule antics of SPDC in the past, for they have been let down for believing that SPDC will fulfill its promises.
“The host communities of OML 25 are no longer interested in attending any meeting summoned by the JTF but are still open and willing to dialogue, provided the Minister of State for Petroleum will summon a meeting comprising of the GMD of NNPC or his Representatives, DPR, NAPIMS and PANDEF as key peacemaker in a neutral place.”