• Wants licences reassigned to N’Delta indigenes
National Leader of the PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday charged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a panel to investigate the deployment of Naval gunboats to OML 25 in Kula on Saturday, September 15, 2018.
Clark, a former Minister of Information, said the deployment of military personnel to the community in Akuku Toru Local Council of Rivers State, was insensitive and undemocratic.
He also urged the Federal Government to grant Niger Delta indigenes and state governments interested in blocks the Right of First Refusal (RoFR) in the renewal and award of oil licenses.
He argued that this would positively impact on the socio-economic prosperity of the region and the country, as well as contribute to the peace and security in the Niger Delta.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Clark said the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were only interested in the region’s oil and does not care about the people’s welfare.
Noting that Shell and other companies have sold their oilfields, he lamented that SPDC actions have caused untold hardship to the host communities, adding that Shell and other oil companies should no longer treat Niger Delta people like slaves and turn the area into toxic dumping ground without taking responsibility.
Clark pointed out that due to neglect and lack of commitment to previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by SPDC, the host communities of OML 25 in Kula Kingdom, were compelled to shutdown their activities since August 17, 2017, and enjoined Shell to divest the oil field to indigenous firms.
He noted that in 13 months that the facility has been shut down, SPDC has not engaged the host communities in any meaningful dialogue to resolve the issues in spite of PANDEF and Federal Government’s interventions.
He alleged that SPDC has been using divide and rule tactics, as well as introduced violence and in-fighting in the area through the use of thugs.
“Over the years, they have not only exploited the resources and degraded our lands; they are also taking advantage of the people, causing unnecessary crisis and conflicts.
“Obviously, Shell has not learnt any lessons from the consequences of their actions in the past that had led to serious crisis in host communities of the Niger Delta, particularly the shutting down of Ogoni oil wells for over 20 years now,” he stated.