IN DELTA: Ugborodo, Ugboegugun, Deghele communities occupy Shell flow station over non-inclusion in PIA

IN DELTA: Ugborodo, Ugboegugun, Deghele communities occupy Shell flow station over non-inclusion in PIA

…Threaten shutdown of SPDC’s 20,000 bpd flow station in Delta

Indigenes of Ugboegungu, Ugborodo, and Deghele in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have occupied the Otumara Flow Station operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to protest their non-inclusion in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The aggrieved indigenes, who began the peaceful occupation of the SPDC facilities on Wednesday in their hundreds, threatened to shut down the facility that produces 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day if their demand was not met.

IN DELTA: Ugborodo, Ugboegugun, Deghele communities occupy Shell flow station over non-inclusion in PIA

According to Tribune, the indigenes in their hundreds continued their occupation of the facility on Thursday with speedboats while drumming, singing, and dancing to local drums at the helipad and security houseboat section, donning red and white linens and tying palm fronds around their heads.

The protesters, who also engaged the services of a disc jockey to provide additional vibes inside the houseboat, were armed with placards and banners indicating some of their demands, the top of which is the recognition and inclusion of Otumara Host Community Development Trust in the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Some of the placards bore inscriptions such as “We want the Petroleum Industry Act to be given to us” and “On Otumarah Host Community we stand,” among others.

Ugboegungu, Ugborodo, and Deghele communities, which are joint hosts to the SPDC Otumara Flow Station, said they have jointly adopted the Otumara Host Community Development Trust for the implementation of the PIA.

Addressing journalists in continuation of the occupation and protest on Thursday, one of the leaders in the Ugborodo Community, Comrade Alex Eyengho, said despite being handed a 30-day ultimatum that had expired, SPDC has been recalcitrant in interfacing with them as regards the PIA implementation.

“We gave a 30-day ultimatum to Shell Petroleum Development Company, which expired on the 21st of this month. Today is the ultimatum day, and Shell has refused to take advantage of the 30-day window we gave them by refusing to do the needful as it concerns the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“This is Shell’s facility hosting three communities: Ugboegungu, Ugborodo, and Deghele communities. What you are seeing here is a protest, and it commenced yesterday.

It is a peaceful protest against Shell over their refusal to implement the PIA for these three communities.

“If I must tell you, the facility that Shell is operating in Otumara is the largest in Delta State. If we decide to shut down this facility today, Shell and Nigeria will be losing 20,000 barrels of oil per day, but we have not taken that route, and we have been very patient with Shell.

“As it concerns this Otumara Community, we are saying that they should create our own host community to be named Otumara Host Community Development Trust that will be hosted by the three communities.

“We are not against any other host communities elsewhere. We do not want to be under any host community, be it the host community of Warri Kingdom,

“We are saying that we are the host communities. If there is any form of oil spillage or environmental degradation, it is not going to affect those in Warri South Local Government or the others who are on the upland. It is going to affect Ugborodo and the other communities, primarily.

“This is in tandem with the extant laws of the PIA, and we are not asking for anything. I think Shell should be happy that each of the three communities has come together to demand the PIA as a joint community and not as individuals,” he averred.

Leaders representing the three communities making up Otumara Host Community Development Trust, Churchill Omadeli, Olufemi Edoema, and Anthony Menebo, also echoed the assertions of Comrade Eyengho.

Omadeli, who’s a member, the Council of Elders, Ugborodo Community, urged SPDC to respect its host communities by coming “to Ugborodo Community and discuss our matter with us without going anywhere.”

Mr Menebo, who’s the vice chairman of the Deghele National Youth Council, accused the SPDC of playing hide and seek, warning that “the protest will continue indefinitely until that demand is met.”

Edoema, a National Vice Chairman of one of the communities, handed SPDC three hours (which have since expired), warning that “if Shell is not here, we are going to shut everything down.”

Meanwhile, besides the armed military soldiers manning the facilities but allowing the protesters to have their fill and a security meeting billed to be held, none of the officials of the SPDC were available to address the protesters or speak with journalists.

Other notable leaders of the Ugborodo community who were at the venue of the protest included Chief Ayirimi Emami, the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo Federated Communities, Eghare-Daniel Uwawah, and Mr. Isaac Botosan, among others.


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