allAfrica.com: Land Owners Issue Shell 10-Day Ultimatum
Posted 4 May 04
By Onwuka Nzeshi
Aggrieved land owners battling the Shell Petroleum Develo-pment Company (SP-DC) over expired land leases have handed down yet another 10-day ultimatum to the multi-national oil firm to make payments on the land or face mass action from some 92 communities.
Rising from a meeting, the land owners under the auspices of Host Communities and Families lamented the perceived nonchalant attitude of the oil firm towards the expired leases and threatened to disrupt its exploration and production activities in Delta and Bayelsa if by the end of the ultimatum the communities were not paid.
In a strongly worded petition to the Delta State Deputy Governor, Chief Benjamin Elue, they said "we the host communities and families have decided that if payment is not made as expected, we will have no other option than to put SPDC-West operations in our various domains to a halt."
Shell's External Relations Manager (West), Mr. Harriman Oyofo, has however, appealed for calm on the issue, assuring that payments would be made shortly, as SPDC was not going to shy away from its responsibilities.
The lands in question were acquired by SPEC several decades ago to enable the oil firm lay its network of oil and gas pipelines.