By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— INDIGENES of Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje communities of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State have protested alleged collaboration between the state government and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to allegedly arm twist the communities into allowing resumption of operations in OML25.
The communities, however, insisted that they would not allow SPDC to resume operations at OML25 in the area, adding the communities did not benefit from 40 years of Shell’s operations in the area.
Recall that the communities had two years ago shut down the OML25 operated by Shell, insisting that SPDC must leave.
Speaking, in Port Harcourt, yesterday, during the protest, spokesman of Supreme Council of Kula Traditional Rulers, Alabo Fiala Okoye-Davies, urged the state government to stop interfering and backing Shell to resume operations in OML25.
He said: “We remain resolute, united and committed to the dream of economic liberalisation, education of our youth, emancipation from the shackles of slave master, who have destroyed all our aquatic livelihoods with their oil pollution and wanting to sell their assets and hand us over to an unknown new slave master.
“We do not want Shell anymore in our land. We don’t know why this renewed pressure and interest between Shell and Rivers State government to forcefully invade our land.
“We do not have trust in the intervention of the state government because its earlier intervention did not yield any good result.”
He noted that the meeting being called by the state government was unnecessary, stressing that the communities do not have confidence in the state government, rather on the Federal Government.