04 October 2014, Asaba – Ijaw Chapter of Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, Oil and Gas, Delta State, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to stop labelling host communities as vandals, but to hold their personnel responsible for cases of vandalism in the region.
Ijaw HOSTCOM, in a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Kingsley Ikiere, alleged that Shell had embarked on another round of blackmail of some host communities to deprive them of their entitlement and benefit as host to the SPDC’s 43 inches Forcados Export Pipeline, especially Isiyayeigbene and Okuntu communities.
It said: “Odimodi, Isiyayeigbene, Ogulagha, Okuntu and other host communities have provided a peaceful working environment for SPDC to operate. SPDC has completely neglected and/or failed to engage indigenes of these communities in the maintenance of their pipeline.
“They have continually employed the services of external contractors who are cronies, friends, relatives and contract staffers. Yet we have indigenous contractors, skilled technicians that are qualified to do the job.
“In 2009 and 2013, suspected vandals and pirates handed over by Isiyayeigbene and Odimodi communities to security agencies have been left off the hook without any punishment melted out to them because they were working with insiders in SPDC, especially Forcados Terminal.”
HOSTCOM called on SPDC to stop the incessant and cheap blackmail being employed to deprive Odimodi, Isiyayeigbene, Ogulagha and Okuntu communities of their entitlement to partake in the ongoing repair of the 48 inches Forcados Export pipeline.