25 July 2012, Sweetcrude, YENAGOA – WOMEN of Koroama in Taylor Creek, Gbarain clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the host community to Shell Petroleum Development Company, have protested alleged neglect by the oil company.
No fewer than 200 women blocked the community’s main road, carrying leaves and placards, and chanting war songs. They claimed that Shell had denied the people basic amenities and employment opportunities.
Chief Imomotimi Wariowei, who led the protest, said: “Shell is taking our oil and has continued to deny the community potable water, health centre, light, employment of our youths and adequate intra community roads.”
“We were told that gas Shell is taking from our land is the largest, our community being the largest natural gas reserve in West Africa. The water we drink here is from the Taylor Creek, contaminated with all the pollutants which make our people sick,” she said.
She said their demands were for Shell to construct concrete roads in the community and deliver other basic infrastructures, provide scholarship for undergraduates as well as skills acquisition centres and employment opportunities for the idle youths.
She said Shell had done more for communities where they have less production interests, vowing that the women would not return to their homes until the demands were addressed.
However, under an existing Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMOU, between Shell and a cluster of 10 Gbarain Fields communities, including Koroama, the community shares from the company’s N90 million funds for the development of its host communities.
But, the women insisted they would not be part of the GMOU, which they discredited as fashioned to shortchange the people.