A Pan-Niger Delta Group, known as PANDEF has raised alarm over alleged plot by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in collaboration with the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Authority, Hon Roland Sekibo to forcefully re-open the shut down OML 25, Belema flow station.
Spokesman of PANDEF, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen at the weekend, said the alleged forceful re-opening of the Belema flow station was uncovered by the body through its intelligence gathering and vigilance and vowed that PANDEF would resist any such attempt.
He pointed out that the over 40 years of Shell operation of the flow station meant backwardness and under development in the host communities of Kula, Offaniama and Belema.
He urged the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government not to allow himself to be used as a willing ally to ferment trouble in the area through the planned forceful re-opening of the shut flow station.
On his part, a member of the Kula Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Ajagidi Asawari, said it would be unthinkable for SPDC to return to the flow station after it was shut down.
He said the people of Kula Kingdom have nothing to show for over four decades of Shell’s operation of OML 25 flow station except the creating of disunity and neglect of the area in terms of development.
While exonerating Belema Oil Producing Company, an indigenous oil firm from the shutting down of OML 25, the community leader said the people of Kula Kingdom would resist any attempt of Shell’s re-entry in the area.
He commended President Mohammadu Buhari for allocating an oil block, OML 55 to an indigene of Kula Kingdom, noting that, Belema Oil Producing Company had within the short period of its operation, impacted tremendously on the development of the area.
He called on the Federal Government to divest the facilities of OML 25 to Belema Oil to emancipate the host communities from the “shackles of SPDC” and to forestall further loss of oil revenue to the federation.
It would be recalled that the continued shut down of OML 25 has led to the loss of billions of dollars to the country as the OML 25 produces 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 135 metric tonnes of gas per day.
However, when contacted the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Hon Roland Sekibo said he would respond to the allegations at the appropriate time.
Stories by Taneh Beemene