By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Seven  days after operations at the Kolo Creek Logistics Base of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, were disrupted by aggrieved indigenes of Oruma, Otuasega, Elebele and Imiringi communities in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the communities, yesterday, laid fresh siege to the facility.

Vanguard gathhered that they were protesting what they described as the refusal of the oil company to meet their demands.
The protesters,  who made good their threat to cripple operations at the heavily guarded Shell facility, stormed the location in the early hours of the day and prevented vehicles from either going in or coming out of the premises.

They also shut the manifold supplying gas to Gbarain-Ubie gas plant at Obunagha and a crude oil delivery line to Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

The presence of the combat ready soldiers on guard at the facility did not deter the aggrieved natives who converged in front of the facility, repeatedly chanting Tunde must go, in reference to the company’s Community Liaison Officer.

Spokesman of the protesters, Pastor Ranami Afagha, who is also the Vice Chairman of Imiringi community, said: “Shell should honour the 1999 agreement  or else the company is free to leave our land for us. They should give us light, water, roads and also ensure that their operations on our land were safe for us and the ecosystem.”

He described as unfortunate a situation where the company would allow their demands to linger and lead to open protest. He said: “We are not saying Shell must meet all our demands at once. We are demanding a commitment to a time frame within which these demands would be implemented.”

He said they had written several letters and held meetings on the agreement Shell signed with them in 1999 in the Presence of Nigeria’s current President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, when he was the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.

Afagha said: “Shell had agreed then to connect our communities to the plant supplying electricity to their office/facility here on our land, but reneged.

“We want our communities to be connected to the source of power that supplies them electricity 24 hours every day. They cannot be taking the crude oil and gas from our land, enjoy all the benefits and leave us in  terrible a condition. We know what is happening in other places where such resources are exploited.

Apart from the issue of electricity, we are also demanding good roads, linking our communities. Shell should honour the agreement signed with us.”

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