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Host community beg NNPC to take over OML 11

Host Communities of Oil Mining Lease, OML11, in Rivers and Abia States, have begged the Federal Government to mandate the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, to takeover the operation of OML11 from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

The communities made the call on Tuesday when Chief Gani Topba, President of Conscience of Ogoni People, COP, visited stakeholder communities of OML11 in Rivers and Abia State.

Speaking, Chief Tochi Ogbonna, Ayama community in Oyibo LGA of Rivers State, said the demand was necessary following marginalization against them by the oil company, noting that Shell was taking the communities for granted.

Ogbonna who spoke for the Traditional Ruler of Ayama Community, HRH D. R Adiele urged federal government, to take over the operation of OML11 and not to give Shell the oil field to operate again.

He said: “Since Shell started here, no single individual has been given employment in Shell. We don’t have any of our person. We are so neglected. I don’t think Shell regards us as anything.

“This is an opportunity to let the federal government know that we are suffering. We are calling on NNPC to take over the oil field. They should hold it and invite us for a meeting. We want to try another company and see.”

“Our problems is not to destroy Shell facility, we are law abiding people yet they take our resources, destroy our lands and leave us in the dark”.

Also, in a statement signed on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of OML11, by Chief Morgan Ulunwa, Director General of the body, His Royal Majesty, King Obioma Nworgu, the King of Etiti- Owaza, and the President of Youths of OML11, Comrade Dimgba Destiny, Abia State host communities alleged neglect.

Reading the statement on behalf of the body Ulunwa said: “We have tolerated Shell enough. Shell failed in her Community Social Responsibility all these decades of exploitation of our environment. Shell takes us for granted, unduly and we declare today, enough is enough.

“Shell’s unsuspecting, latest obnoxious bid to regain the expired OML11 license after long unproductive sojourn, as far as host communities are concerned, for six decades in OML11 soil is a covert display of tendencies of uncommon foreign trader-tenant that dwells on fettering greed, reminiscent of the dark days of apartheid South Africa.

“We shall resist the forceful further sojourning amongst us aggressively and threateningly, too. Accordingly, a committee to work out modalities to this effect is in the pipeline. We shall occupy and take over our natural oil assets, the OML11 oil fields.

“Shell leave us alone. We can no longer contain contain with your obnoxious antics, namely; divide and rule, double standard and unrepentant cheat.”

Earlier, Chief Gani Topba, called on the Federal Government to recall the United Nations to conduct an environmental report on other communities of OML11, adding that the closure of the oil field in Ogoni was as a result of environmental issues.

Topba urged the communities under the oil field to come together to ensure that Shell is sacked, noting that if Shell fails to bow out that communities would occupy all the facilities.

“We are part of struggle for Justice for OML 11 . Is a bigger field in Nigeria. 26 years ago a part of the OML 11 was shutdown in Ogoni but this part of it continue. We are here to meet other stakeholders in the OML, so we can see how they can benefit.

I want us to come together insist to the federal government that NNPC should takeover the operation of the field. We are not stopping the operation of the federal government but that SPDC should not operate again in the land.

“You must stand and shut all Shell facilities in your land. We want the NNPC to take over 100% of the oil field so that we can come back and discuss who operates our oil.”

SOURCE: Authority Newspaper