24 July 2014, Yenagoa – Angry communities in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, have vowed to shut down operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company over alleged failure to honour the Global Memorandum of Understanding reached with them.
The communities on Wednesday therefore gave the company a 30-day ultimatum to fulfill the terms of the MoU.
They threatened to close Shell facilities in the area at the expiration of the ultimatum.
Chairman, Nembe Oil and Gas Committee, Chief Nengi James, said Shell had overstretched the patience of the communities.
James, who spoke after a meeting with Shell and community stakeholders, wondered why the company was foot-dragging in implementing the MoU.
Present at the meeting were the Chairman of the Nembe Chiefs Council, Solomon Ockiya and the Chairman of Nembe City Development Foundation and former Commissioner for Environment, Godson Omubo–Dede.
James said, “As a community we are giving SPDC 30 days to pay the fund accrued to the community since last year or face immediate shut down of all its facilities within our territories.
“They should stop using the divestment as a deliberate ploy to deny us our privileges while they are still exploring oil within the shores of our communities. We cannot be deceived.”
He also demanded provision of potable water and generators pending the completion of the Independent Power Plant being installed by the SPDC for the entire kingdom.
James asked the company to mop up oil spill sites and carry out environmental remediation.
He, however, commended the company for partnering with the Niger Delta Development Commission to complete the ongoing construction of the Ogbia-Nembe Road.
James, who was the brain behind the shutdown of Shell facilities in the area in 2012, particularly warned the company against divestment without proper consultations.
He said the communities would resist attempts by SPDC to sell facilities within their domain without proper consultations with the Amanyanabo of Nembe, King Edmund Dakoru and his people.
– The Punch