The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has disagreed with the statement credited to the Shell Petroleum Development Company ltd (SPDC), which was signed by Bamidele Odugbesan, the Media Relations Manager titled “Shell calls for dialogue on Belema Flow Station” and denying the invasion of BELEMA OIL field shutdown by the host communities of OML 25.
The SPDC’s denial press release is a deceit and ploy to mislead the general public into believing that SPDC truly stands for peace in their area of operations and the OML 25 Host Communities in particular, when in actual fact they have started with their known antics of “divide and rule” in connivance with Hon. Rowland Sekibo and their recruited agents, to invade and introduce violence, and thuggery in the area.
These they have achieved, by sending 5 Naval gunboats and 7 speedboats conveying thugs to invade and drive away the protesters at the Belema Flow Station, and to stage a counter protest.
PANDEF’s findings confirmed that Shell has not learnt from the Ogoni crisis and has no regard for Niger Delta Communities and their lands. Shell, through the Local Government chairman, Hon. Roland Sekibo, funded the mobilization of thugs with N5,000 each which is less than $20USD, to go and stage a counter protest that Shell must stay, with special pass and heavily armed Navy gunboat given by the Navy Commander, undermining the presence of the Army on ground that have maintained peace in the area for over one year.
We indeed expected that by now, SPDC would have realised and learned from the colossal damage and hardship their actions have caused the people of Niger Delta with reference to the killings in Ogoni and Kula, the State Government, and the Country at large and thus, changed their policies on community relations. Their actions in the past, led to the Ogoni murders and the eventual locking- up of the Ogoni oil wells for over 20 years.
The Kula communities are desirous of peace at all times, having experienced the killings of their chiefs, elders, men, women, boys and girls in 2006 numbering over 200 because of the divide and rule antics of SPDC. Hence their desire to attend all the peace meetings called by the NNPC/SPDC and the security agencies but it was rather the SPDC that walked out on the second day of one of the peace meetings in Abuja, without any cogent reason given to NNPC, NAPIMS and the host communities. That was also a clear display of lack of respect for Nigeria, Nigerian Government and the host communities.
The host communities of Belema, Offoinama, amongst others in the Kula Kingdom, are peaceful and have also assured NNPC/ NAPIMS and PANDEF that they will ensure the protection of the facilities and everything therein within this period of their occupation and shutdown of the flow station and since then nothing negative has been reported
The people are tired of the deceit and the divide and rule antics of SPDC in the past, for they have been let down for believing that SPDC will fulfill its promises.
It’s on record that sometime in 2005, the people of Kula had similar experience with SPDC & Chevron Nig. Ltd which led to the shutdown of four Flow Stations in their territory in September 2005 that lasted for 3 months.
The stations were only reopened after the intervention of the State Government under Sir (Dr.) Peter Odili and an MOU they signed on the 31st December, 2005.
Again in 2014, because of the failure of SPDC to implement the agreements reached with communities and the State Government as witnesses, three of their Flow stations were again shutdown and the MOU earlier reached was replaced with a GMOU and the stations were re-opened. Yet the company failed to carry out their obligation in accordance with the GMOU but rather than implementing it, they sold some of the flow stations and assets leaving the Belema Flow Station and Gas Station, which we understand, they are also trying to sell to Chrester Nig. Ltd. A company owned by SPDC staff.
This made the host communities to again compel SPDC to shut-down once again on the 17th August, 2017, which has lasted 13 months but the company would rather resort to playing politics instead of addressing the issues raised.
Recently a publication making the air wave is that Shell is making plans to secretly sell off OML 25. Any buyer who takes such risk is on its own as Shell must meet its host communities’ demand.
In the light of the above, the Host Communities of OML 25, otherwise known as Belema, Offinama, Ngeje, Kilama, Diaba, Okoama, amongst others, and the entire Kula Kingdom have resolved that SPDC MUST GO AWAY from the Kula territory.
In conclusion, the host communities of OML 25 are no longer interested in attending any meeting called or summoned by the JTF but are still open and willing to dialogue, provided the Minister of State for Petroleum will summon a meeting comprising of the GMD of NNPC or his Representatives, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), NAPIMS and PANDEF as key peace maker in a neutral place.
His Highness Anabs Sara-igbe
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF