Hundreds of indigenes from 14 communities in Nembe and Brass native authorities areas in Bayelsa State on the weekend barricaded the offshore amenities belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to protest their neglect by the oil agency.
The indignant stakeholders led by their chiefs, conventional rulers, youth leaders, girls and neighborhood leaders, took their protest to the amenities of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 77-3D positioned of their territorial waters.
The protesters, who hail from the communities of Odioma, Ibidi, Ewoma, Okpoma, Twon Brass, Beletiama, Liama, Diema, Okumbiribeleu, Opu-Okumbiri, Oginibiri and Sangana, mentioned the corporate ought to cease its operation and handle their grievances to keep away from breakdown of regulation and order.
The aggrieved residents, who carried placards, mentioned they determined to embark on the peaceable protest in any case their efforts to get the corporate to handle their calls for did not yield anticipated outcomes.
They insisted that it’s irregular for an oil multinational to proceed its operation with out reaching correct understanding with its host communities.
The protesters, who carried placards with inscriptions resembling, “Shell Stop Work,” and “Consult the host communities,” amongst others, chanted solidarity songs and vowed to proceed with the demonstration till the corporate resolved their points.
Some of the chiefs, who had been conveyed by speedboats to the amenities, had been Chief Ikioye Ebinyo George, Brass; Chief Ghandi Elei, Egweama neighborhood; Chief Innocent-Nainghabofa Konteinbofa, Chairman Odioma Council of Chiefs; Chief Ellai, Chief Ambuse Daufa and Chief Percy Wemi Komie, amongst others.
Stating the explanations for the protest, a former Youth Secretary, Brass, Michael Samuel, mentioned Shell started its offshore operations with out consulting 14 communities surrounding its amenities.
Michael questioned why an organization as huge as Shell would sideline conventional rulers, youths and ladies in addition to different stakeholders in its operations.
He lamented that the corporate, as an alternative of consulting all stakeholders, established a relationship with a person, who was after his private curiosity.
He mentioned: “We have exhausted all avenues to get the corporate take heed to our calls for to no avail. We went to Port Harcourt in Rivers State many occasions to satisfy with the administration of Shell on this subject with out getting optimistic outcomes.
“This protest is to tell Shell that we won’t tolerate the way they came into an area surrounding our communities. We want the company to know that we have stakes in what they are doing and they can’t treat us this way. We are peace-loving people and we want the oil firm to come and hold discussions with us.”
Also, a neighborhood chief from Odioma, Obolo Benjamin, warned Shell in opposition to persevering with with its operations with out consulting the communities.
He mentioned: “SPDC is operating offshore across 14 communities without consulting us. The company did not give us the right of way. The oil company decided to use one person to sideline, neglect and marginalise every individual around our territory. He collected what is due us to himself alone.”
A personnel, who recognized himself as Oscar One, thanked the residents for his or her peaceable disposition, saying their calls for could be conveyed to the administration of the corporate.