By Chancel Sunday
Egbemo-Angalabiri community, host to Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has shut down SPDC’s crude oil drilling rig over failure to provide basic needs and continued dealings with the outgone leadership of Tarakiri Cluster Development Board, TCDB.
The community folk, including women and youths, armed with placards besieged Specialty Drilling Rig BR 301, a major SPDC drilling rig in the early hours of Monday, asking SPDC to stop dealing with the leadership of the outgone TCDB.
Some inscriptions on the placards read: “Shell, stop dealing with the past cluster board, we say no to divede and rule game, inaugurate new cluster board now, we say no to poverty in the midst of wealth among others.
Speaking on behalf of the women, the woman leader, Tarakiri Clan, Comrade (Mrs) Ebi Musi, said: “we’ve never seen or felt any benefit from this oil rig, we’re rather in hunger and we’ve decided to shut it down today.
“Our husbands and children are not employed, no indigene of Egbemo-Angalabiri Domain is employed by SPDC, we want Dr Jude and Kenneth Oboku to leave our cluster board and we’ve decided to stay here until our demands are met”.
Comrade Alex Benikama, who urged SPDC to disclose the GMoU entered into with the community, said: “SPDC has been operating in this domain for a very long time without the host community benefiting from it.
There are no scholarship for our children, no jobs for our youths, no contracts for the men and that’s why we came to shut down this facility. All we’re asking from SPDC is that, show to us the GMoU entered into with our fathers, but the management has refused to come out to address us.
“SPDC is still dealing with the outgone Dr Jude Ebibokefie-led TCDB, who has been there for over ten years and we say enough is enough. We want Egbemo-Angalabiri Domain to grow and we want SPDC to stop dealing with them”.