Shell Petroleum Development Company over alleged inability to perform its corporate Social responsibility to the host communities was stormed by the youth of Offio – Ama Community.
SPDC and Oil Mining License OML 25 had been shot for about two years due to conflict of interest with the host communities.
However, the River State Government on Monday with some selected members of the host communities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the re-opening of the closed flow station and the payment of outstanding funds owed Stakeholder Communities under the extant Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU).
In total disagreement with the MOU, the Offio – Ama youths in their number, carrying placard with inscriptions like “Shell most go out of Kula”, “disregard the MOU”, “we don’t need shell to operate in our area”, “We offio – Ama community never send Siibia Sukubo to sign any MOU” protested on Tuesday, around the OML 25 flow station are demanding for total closure, revoke and replacement of SPDC with an indigenous oil company.
Explaining what played out at the government house, His Royal Highness, King of Offio – Ama, Chief Sibia Sukubo Aron said ” Am telling the world that I was misled to the signing of the MOU at Port Harcourt, having spoken with my community, we have concluded that we don’t need Shell in our community.
“We are okay with what we have. In the signing of the MOU I was misled. I stand by and with my community. Shell must go. He added.
On his part, the Community Development Committee (CDC), Chairman of Offio – Ama, Comrade Jona F. Joshua explained that ” we are in Kula, the center of our community. Today, we had a protest and a general meeting comprising the women, youths and the chiefs to register our displeasure against Shell company. Also to register our anger that our king without the knowledge of the community went to government house to sign a memorandum of understanding that is not in the interest of the community members.
” The community members at our general meeting agreed that, the king will be sanctioned and that we don’t want Shell company in Offio – Ama community. But the King has apologized that he was misled to the purported signing of MOU and the community has forgiven him. And he promised that he will never do anything contrary to the interest of community members, he revealed.
Comrade Joshua added that “We also agreed that as from today, Rivers state government should allow the will of the people of Offio – Ama community prevail, they should be interested more on how to develop Rivers state and not bring about confusion.
He lamented that “It is a very known fact that Shell has been here for 38 years, I confirm to you that there is no infrastructural project or any developmental project by Shell. Nothing like any capital empowerment for our people. So Shell as failed all the host communities. Therefore, we don’t need Shell. Just recently when some companies came we saw changes. If a company like Shell has been in a community for years, there are some things you will see and be satisfied that yes there are changes but in the case of Shell nothing like that. So Shell must go.
Comrade Joshua who noted that, the federal government, NNPC and other concern are aware of their ordeal, added that ” Shell operation has affected us so much, for example we have fishermen, who can no longer go fishing, right now as I speak with you we can not farm and many animals have been killed. All the area is polluted, the mangrove is dying. So at that point, where do we feed? Shell’s operation is negatively our economic activities, so we don’t want them in our land.
Also speaking, the CDC Secretary, Benedicta Macson said ” We are not happy about the way we are being treated by Shell. Because of Shell’s operation, the women no longer go to the farm, no job opportunity for them, even as common cleaners Shell failed to employ from our communities”.