Belema com­mu­ni­ties oc­cupy Shell fa­cil­i­ties over ‘ne­glect’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Vic­tor Edozie, Port Har­court

De­spite the pres­ence of heav­ily armed sol­diers, hun­dreds of Belema, Ofionama and Kula in­di­genes com­pris­ing tra­di­tional rulers, women, men and youths have con­tin­ued to oc­cupy Shell Flow Sta­tion lo­cated at Belema, Ofionama in Akuku-Torlu Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Rivers State.

Shell Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions Gen­eral Man­ager, Igo Weli con­firmed that in­di­genes of Belema had taken over its flow Sta­tion at Belema.

Daily Trust checks yes­ter­day re­vealed that the in­di­genes of var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties that make up Belema had con­tin­ued to bar­ri­cade the flow sta­tion with palm leaf and fetish ob­jects. They shut down a ma­jor oil fa­cil­ity op­er­ated in the area by Shell Petroleum De­vel­op­ment Com­pany.

The pro­test­ers had ear­lier said they were ne­glected to suf­fer in ab­ject poverty de­spite host­ing Shell for over 37 years, as there were no ba­sic ameni­ties in the host com­mu­ni­ties.

The com­mu­ni­ties de­manded that Shell should va­cate their land and hand over its op­er­a­tion to an indige­nous oil com­pany.

The Chair­man of Fo­rum of State Chair­men of the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil of Nige­ria and an in­di­gene of the area, Sukubo Sara-Igbe who spoke on be­half of the pro­test­ers, said the de­mands of the peo­ple were le­git­i­mate.

Our re­porter learnt that the OML25 Oil Flow Sta­tion op­er­ated by Shell in Kula which was shut down by the pro­test­ers pro­duces over 44,000 bar­rels of crude oil per day.

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