Vanguard (Nigeria): Delta Community threatens to shut Shell's facilities: Friday, November 25, 2005
By Austin Ogwuda
ASABA — THE of Uzere clan in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State has issued a three-week ultimatum to the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to pay compensation arising from oil spillage from the facilities located in the community.
The community in a petition sent to the Managing Director of the company, entitled “SPDC Unfilfilled Promises To Uzere: Need To Avert Imminent Crisis”, which was jointly signed by the Odio-Ologbo of Uzere Kingdom, Chief Ben Obegba, Secretary-General of Uzere Kingdom, Mr. J. Urete and three others listed their grievances as follows: "That despite all assurances, the Uzere cottage hospital started by SPDC in the year 2002 has been abandoned and the community water scheme which SPDC promised to energize just like the tapioca drying oven initiated by SPDC are all standing still.
"Other vexing issues include but not limited to failure to employ qualified natives of Uzere, denial of a micro-credit scheme as well as hiding under obnoxious laws and flimsy excuses to dodge payment of compensation for damages accruing from oil spillages from SPDC facilities. Yet SPDC was able to complete the multi-million dollar fencing of its flow station in Uzere within six months.
“It is a fact that Uzere is unarguably the single largest crude oil producing community in Nigeria with over 39 oil wells in two oil fields, but ironically, for a community where SPDC has been harvesting oil for over 48 years, the state of infrastructure there are most appalling, vexatious and quite provoking especially with several unfulfilled promises by SPDC over time.
"If after three weeks from the date of this letter (21st November 2005), nothing positive is seen on ground, be informed that we will be left with no option than to take our fate in our hands and this will include mass protest, shut down of all SPDC facilities in Uzere kingdom and any other legal process to seek an end to this injustice.”
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