YENAGOA—THE people of Aghoro I community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have accused Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, of frustrating the community’s efforts to get redress following a major oil spill, which occurred in the area last year.
In an open letter to Managing Director of the company, Consultants to the community, led by Furoebi Akene, said the personnel of the company were applying “divide and rule tactics,” on the people.
The letter, which was also copied Bayelsa Deputy Governor; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation; Minister of State for Petroleum; Minister of Environment; DSS and NOSDRA among others read: “A major crude oil spill occurred around Agoro section of the Trans Ramos pipeline and was noticed on May 17, 2018 and a Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, was made between May 25 and 29, 2018.
“During the JIV, the following confirmations were made: The spill was as a result of instrument (rupture of the pipe as a result of corrosion). The spilled crude had already spread into Ramos river, creeks and the swamps that covered a large expanse of land. Farm lands, fishing gears, marine and aquatic lives, trees, among others have been impacted. Communities, fishing and other settlements are adversely impacted.
“We are compelled to write you this letter due to the oppressive antics adopted by your company since the spill occurred till date as though you are above the enabling laws of this country where you operate.”
“This letter also becomes inevitable against the backdrop of the fresh moves by officials of the SPDC in Port Harcourt led by the Head of Lands in pathetic disregard for due process and industry’s best practices.
“The recent acts of your company unilaterally calling again the CDC Chairman of Aghoro I and another gentleman from the community, who happens to be a contractor to your company to their office in Port Harcourt to prompt them to conspire with SPDC against their community with the clear intent to cause serious community crisis and use the opportunity to abandon whatever proper compensation that the awaited Joint Post Impact Assessment, JPIA and Damages Assessment, DA, reports may put on SPDC.”
When contacted the Media Relations Manager of SPDC, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan declined comment.