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Vanguard (Nigeria): Itsekiri community gives Shell quit notice

By Emma Amaize
Posted to the Web: Thursday, March 09, 2006
WARRI — THE people of Adaka, an Itsekiri community in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, gave the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) a seven-day ultimatum to remove all its oil facilities and evacuate its staff from the Ovorh field in the state.
The community in a letter to President Olusegun Obasanjo, signed by its President, Emmanuel Jule; Secretary- Samson Oniyeyone and spokesman Andrew Okotie said their grouse was that the company has refused to abide and respect the directive of the state government to recognize them as a host community of the Ovorh field.
“Since SPDC management is not prepared to dialogue with us, adhere to government directive and respect our landlordship and court judgment delivered in 1951 in respect of the said land, which SPDC currently trespassed in Ovorh field, we are prepared to use the action and language they best understand and this will lead to a total breakdown of law and order in the field”, they stated.
The community in a similar letter, dated March 1 to the Commander of the JTF accused the company of disrespecting the state government’s position that it should enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the villagers, pointing out that it was a similar behavior that compelled the people to mobilized to the field to stop its drilling operation, last two months.
They said that it was because of the intervention of the state government and the JTF that made the community to simmer down and wondered why the SPDC has refused to obey the written directive by the state government to it to recognise the people like others it had so acknowledged.
Delta State Commissioner for Inter Ethnic Relations and Conflict Resolution, Mr. Ovozourie Macaulay in a letter dated February 6, said that after careful consideration of reports emanating from the meetings held by the various ministries/departments and the presentations made by each community cum the report of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the state government found out that Ugborhen, Adaka and Urhiorodje communities were impacted on the Avhor fields, operated by the SPDC.

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