December 25, 2019

Siege on SPDC Flow station enters day 6 as peace talk ends in deadlock

Shell, SPDC, Flow station

…Why we stalled implementation of GMoU with the community – SPDC

Perez Brisibe, Ughelli

The protest and subsequent siege of the Beneside Flow station located in Ojobo community, Burutu local government area of Delta State, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has entered day 6 as talks conveyed by the Delta State government between the community and the company ended in deadlock.

Protesters from the community had last Thursday invaded the flow station which has a crude oil production volume of 23, 000 barrels per day upon the expiration of a two-day ultimatum to the company claiming marginalization and unresolved issues as contained in an existing General Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU between both parties.

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Though SPDC cited intra-community litigations as its reason for stalling implementation of an existing GMoU it entered with the community, the protesters most of who are half-clad women, have vowed to spend their Christmas and New Year celebrations at the flow station until their immediate demands are met.

Meanwhile, a peace meeting convened, Monday by the Delta State Government between representatives of the community and SPDC at the Government House Annex, Warri, ended in deadlock as both parties refused shifting grounds for peace.

Those present at the meeting include the Delta State Commissioner for oil and gas, Emmanuel Amgbaduba, SPDC Community Interface Coordinator for Benisede flow station, Jerry Udjor and spokesperson for the community, Prince Doubra Baro flanked by the community chairman, Kpanduku Fufeyin, Chief Ondokare Fufeyin and Ebi Brisibe.

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Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Doubra explained that the community had employed series of peace moves towards resolving the matter with Shell before embarking on the protest with a vow that the siege on the facility will continue until the community meets its immediate demands.

He listed the immediate demands of the community to include the immediate release of the GMoU fund, the immediate commencement and completion of Community Interdependency Electrification Project (CIEP-Gas Turbine), and the need for SPDC to revisit and implement its abandoned legacy projects.

Appealing to the protesters to embrace peace and dialogue, SPDC’s spokesperson, Michael Adande in a statement yesterday, explained that SPDC is engaging the community’s leadership in addressing their grievances.

He said: “While intra-community litigation is responsible for the stalled GMoU implementation, SPDC has continued to implement social investment programs for the community including scholarship schemes where, between 2005 and 2019, 100 indigenes of Ojobo have benefitted from the regular and the cradle-to-career secondary school scholarships.

“Also, the community is aware that a new generator is about being delivered to the community to address the electricity challenge. We appeal to the protesters to embrace peace and dialogue as SPDC is committed to the development of its host communities and the people.”

Vanguard News