Belema communities occupy Shell facilities over ‘neglect’
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.