Mkpoikana Udoma 18 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Belema, Offoinama and Ngeje communities in Rivers State have accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, of delaying the follow up meeting to resolve the lingering crisis in the communities.
OML 25: Rivers communities accuse NNPC, Shell of delaying meeting
Recall that the communities since August 4, 2017, has occupied SPDC’s Belema Flow Station that feeds oil into Shell’s Bonny export terminal, following an alleged neglect of the host communities by Shell.
The federal government through the NNPC had wade into the matter in a bid to resolve amicably the faceoff between the host communities and the Dutch multinational.
But the Paramount Ruler of Ngeje community, Chief Godson Ogbelekuro Opueze, said a follow up meeting which was supposed to hold on Thursday, 14th September 2017, did not hold as the meeting was postpone without a prior knowledge of the host communities.
Chief Opueze explained that a delegation of the host community who had travelled to Abuja for the meeting are not happy with the development.
He said the continuous postponement of the dialogue shows that NNPC is not ready for a quick resolution of the crises to ensure resumption of normal oil exploration in the area.
“It is a fact that justice delayed is a justice denied, upon the rescheduled meeting adjournment without considering the host communities’ view to the unilaterally postponement of the meeting which the community regard as scorn and disdain treatment to them when some of their youths have already travelled to Abuja to attend the meeting which was dated to hold on14th September 2017.
“We think NNPC and Shell are not ready for the amicable implementation of the resolution reached and we prefer dialogue to confrontation.”
The paramount Ruler also expressed displeasure over the failure of the NNPC to carry out a joint investigation visit to affected communities as earlier agreed by the stakeholders.
He also said that the community will be forced to remain in the facility should dialogue to resolve the face off between Shell and the communities fail.
“We the good people of Ngeje, Belema and Offoiama communities do hereby write to register our anathema against NNPC and Shell’s continuous day-by-day postponement of the agreed meeting and JIV to the aforementioned communities is completely unhealthy to the truce reached at the abuja meeting on the 23rd of August 2017.
“But where dialogue fails to resolve the shut down facility, then confrontation will be the best alternative measure to remain permanently in the Shell facility pending when NNPC and Shell are prepared to fulfil our demand as a matter of sine qua non.”