From PAUL OBIAJUNWO, Port Harcourt
The people of Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom in Bonny Local Government area of Rivers state have given Multinational oil giant SPDC and Prime Exploration and Production Limited operating within the bonny axis a 21 day ultimatum or vacate the area.
They said the only alternative is for the companies to address the issue of marginalization and commence a process of fence mending with the Bonny community or face demand for shut down of all activities of both companies.
Speaking yesterday, the Amaopusenibo Tamunonengiofori Abbey, and Amaopusenibo Amiebibama Pepple who represented Bonny Kingdom, through their Solicitors, A.A Olusegun said the call became necessary since SPDC has decided carries out surveillance, remediation, inspection and others without consultation.
He said the company had carried out survey activities within Bonny Kingdom territories of Otokolamabe and Okolo Launch (Opobo Channel, Oloma, Ayaminima and Sangama axis) without reference , consultation, permission or foreknowledge sought and obtained from Bonny community.
He noted that Prime Exploration and Production Limited on their part has been operating oil exploration within Bonny territory for the past three years without recourse to payment of royalties and accrued benefits to Bonny Kingdom among others but rather pays same to Andoni community who has no stake in the territory.
Olusegun said: ”In a written petition to the General Manager(East) SPDC and MD/CEO of Prime Exploration and Production Limited and copied the Chief of Naval and Army staff, Inspector General of Police, Director of DSS among others, it reveals that the situation has become self-serving and intrusive.
“Because SPDC and Prime E&P Ltd in the same atrocious and disrespectable manner had entered into negotiation and contract with the people of Andoni community, hiring and given out surveillance contract to them when Andoni community is neither landlords, stakeholders nor part of the Bonny community.
“ An action capable of threatening peace, and fanning communal strife between Bonny and Andoni Community. Following lack of regard and recognition of the boundary ownership within the two territories and inordinate preference or consultation in favour of the Andonis in the areas, it is clear that these companies are brewing an acrimonious divide between the two kingdom.
“Even as we know that oil companies with the pedigree of SPDC and Prime should know better to act cautiously, fairly and just. We are describing this issue as sad. We are also unhappy over recent development where virtually all the fishing settlements belonging to Bonny community have all been renamed and designated as Andoni, with some referred to as Freetown.”