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Local content: Bayelsa communities, SPDC crisis deepens

By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—The frosty relationship between Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and its sub-contractors-Morpol and Daewoo and impacted communities along the EPU cluster I, II and III in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has deepened.

The $2.4bn EPU I, II and III project which is sited in Opokuma Kingdom, on completion, is expected to change the face of the host communities.

The King of Opokuma Kingdom, Okpoitari Diongoli, at an earlier meeting with stakeholders and the impacted communities, had directed the communities to stop further signing of the Freedom to Operate agreement until all the contending issues were resolved.

Vanguard gathered that it was in a bid to resolve the grey areas between SPDC and the impacted communities that the royal father scheduled a fresh meeting, Tuesday, with the management of the three companies at his palace in Akanranbiri town, Opokuma Kingdom.

But the monarch, in anger, was said to have cancelled the meeting after due consultations with other stakeholders on the grounds that the management of the companies sent junior staff to represent them.

This development, the impacted communities considered as an insult on their collective sensibilities and disrespect to the leadership of the kingdom and host communities.

The Opokuma monarch, yesterday, at Akanranbiri, Opokuma in KOLGA confirmed the cancellation of the meeting to newsmen.

He said though the kingdom was open to constructive engagement that will be beneficial to all parties, the companies were not desirous for a peaceful resolution of the contending issues.



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