Scores of embittered Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups in Delta State have threatened to shut down all Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, operations in their land, if the Anglo-Dutch oil company fails to comply with the agreement reached with them some time ago.
Addressing newsmen, yesterday in Warri, the people, under the aegis of their Forum also indicted Shell for allegedly instigating crisis among the host communities with its divide and rule antics.
Vanguard reported that, Mr Moses Eduogha and Fregene Emiko, who jointly signed a statement, argued that they were mostly annoyed that Shell refused to honour a peace meeting summoned by Governor Ifeayi Okowa and the host communities on December 15, 2015.
“We see SPDC’s action as a big slap on both the governor’s face and ours. We decided to tell the whole world that Shell is definitely looking for trouble. Our people are already agitated and we will give them fire for fire.
“Host communities have been impoverished. You can imagine a situation where our contractors are made to renew their contract papers on yearly basis with nothing to show for it,” the forum leaders said.
They said that neither Ijaw nor Itsekiri is directly involved in any contract, rather the company staff engages their cronies to do the job local contractors are supposed to do.
“Activities of Shell were capable of causing crisis among the host communities. Nigeria’s local content law is not working in Shell as the workers have turned contractors,” they said.
According to them, aggrieved youths are already beating war drums, adding that Shell should immediately respect the agreement reached, “else they will be flushed out from our land.
“Shell’s action is an open invitation to crisis,” they added.
Posted by Janice Johnson