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Nigerian Communities Stage Protest, Threaten To Shut Down Shell Petroleum’s Flow Station In Delta Over Petroleum Industry Act

Posted by Samuel on Fri 25th Aug, 2023 -

The protest continued on Thursday with a speedboat display, drumming, singing, and dancing to local drums at the SPDC helipad and security houseboat section.

 Shell Petroleum

In Delta State, South-South Nigeria, three communities have issued a threat to close down a flow station managed by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) located in Otumara. This action is in response to their exclusion from the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

People from the three communities identified as Ugborodo, Ugboegugun and Deghele, operating under the aegis of Otumara Host Community Trust (OHCT) on Wednesday occupied the SPDC flow station to protest against the refusal of the firm to negotiate the implementation of the Act.

SaharaReporters gathered that the aggrieved dwellers of the communities began the peaceful protest on Wednesday in their hundreds and threatened to shut down the facility producing 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day if their demand was not met.

The protest continued on Thursday with a speedboat display, drumming, singing, and dancing to local drums at the SPDC helipad and security houseboat section. 

The protesters donned red and white linens and tied palm fronds around their heads.

The protesters displayed placards bearing inscriptions such as "Ugborodo Community on Otumara Host Community Trust (OHCT) We Stand," "Deghele Community on Otumara Host Community Trust (OHCT) We Stand," and  "Ughboegugun Community on Otumara Host Community Trust (OHCT) We Stand," and “We want the Petroleum Industry Act to be given to us,” among others.

The protesters were seen dancing inside the houseboat. 

One of the leaders of Ugborodo community, Comrade Alex Eyengho, while addressing journalists on Thursday, said despite being handed a 30-day ultimatum that had expired, SPDC had been recalcitrant in interfacing with them as regards the PIA implementation.

He said, “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 facility hosts 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.

“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.

“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 added.

The leaders representing the three communities making up Otumara Host Community Development Trust, Churchill Omadeli, Olufemi Edoema, and Anthony Menebo respectively also toed the same path as Eyengho in their statements. 

However, none of the officials of the SPDC were available to address the protesters or speak with journalists.

Meanwhile, some other leaders from 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.

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