Port Harcourt — Monarchs in Abia and Rivers under the auspices of OML11 Traditional Rulers Council, say they have written to President Muhammadu Buhari, not to renew the oil block’s operatorship licence for Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
To this end, the monarchs have called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to take over operatorship of the facilities in OML11 in order to pave the way for robust negotiation between the host communities and a new operator, who would developed the area.
Chairman of OML11 Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Eze Obioma Levi Nworgu, announced this yesterday while speaking at a meeting of representatives of the host communities in Owaza, Ukwa-West Local Government Area of Abia State.
King Nworgu who is the Paramount Ruler of Etiti-Oha Owaza community, accused SPDC of poor corporate social responsibility and poor human relations with the OML11 host communities.
He said youths of OML11 host communities were wrongly nursing the suspicion that the traditional rulers were manipulating every benefits coming from the Dutch oil firm, whereas no benefit has been coming to the communities in reality.
According to him, “We the OML11 of host communities urge President Muhamnadu Buhari to direct the NNPC to take over the facility to allow for a robust engagement with the host communities.
“That is the mandate of the people because President Muhammadu Buhari, who love his people by his own good administration, has vowed to carry people along.
“We are calling of Federal Government to call on NNPC to take over the facilities so that the host communities can renegotiate.
“We have not achieved anything since 1958, there is no electricity in Owaza, no good road in Asaland. No good road in the oil bearing communities. No electricity in Owaza and Asa since 1958.
“Look at Afam, look at Etche, look at Oyigbo, Asa, we are all dying. The lives of our people are cut short due to oil activities. Let the Federal Government come to the aid of the people here. Asa land needs to be cleaned up.”
The OML11 Traditional Rulers Councils also called for the extension of Ogoni cleanup to Asa land in Abia State , stating that the communities were also suffering the same level of environmental degradation as a result of SPDC operations in the area.
“We are saying that for the good works of President Buhari, looking at Ogoni cleanup, and the Vice President visited Abia State and promised that Federal Government will clean up Asa. ”
OML11 block cuts across communities in Andoni, Bonny, Eleme, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Omuma, Oyigbo and Tai Local Government Areas in Rivers State as well as communities in Ukwa-East and Ukwa-West Local Government Area of Abia State.