Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Two host communities to Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, (SPDC) in Rivers State yesterday asked the oil giant to leave their community, stressing that SPDC has neglected the people of the area for too long.
The communities, Belema and Ofuyama in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, host communities to OLM 25, noted that the oil multinational had only deceived the communities for over 37 years they operated in the area.
Speaking, Chief Tamunoimi Owen Felix, the Amapulo I of Kula Kingdom, who led the eviction team to the SPDC facility yesterday, told a team of operators led by one Mrs. Esther (surname withheld) to inform SPDC that their operation in the area has seized.
Felix noted that SPDC failed in its cooperate social responsibility to the people of the community, adding that the oil giant only underdeveloped the people.
The monarch worried that the license issued to the SPDC by the Federal Government to operate OLM 25 has expired in 2012 and urged the oil firm to leave for another company to take over the operation of the well.
He said: “When you come to Belema community and the other communities around it is a show of shame to shell. They used divide and rule tactics. When they want to do something they will go and pick some villagers from elsewhere secretly come here and snap pictures and claim they have done something for us.
“Now we have come together to say that we cannot allow Shell to use us again. Shell has not done anything for us. Nothing on health, nothing on education, we don’t have water, no electricity, our people are not employed.
“Their license has expired since 2012 and they are struggling to come back, but we are saying today that we don’t want them again. Why we have not shut them down is that the economy of the nation is bad it will take its effect of the FG and the state if we do.”
When contacted the public Relations Department of SPDC, Mr. Joseph Obari who had delayed a text message earlier sent to him on the matter responded to our reporter off record.
He said the reason for the delay was that the company is contacting the community relations in the community to ascertain what actually happened. He however promised to get back to our correspondent with a full detail of what transpired.