OML 11 host communities supplicate over alleged neglect, ask Shell to leave oil field
After over 60 years of exploratory activities without basic infrastructure like roads hospital and electricity, the host communities of Oil Mining Lease, (OML11) yesterday staged a prayer protest, demanding the exit of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from the facility.
The oil-bearing settlements in Oyigbo, Afam-Ndoki and Nkali-Etche in Rivers State and Owaza Asa, Isimiri in Ukwa-West Local Government Area of Abia State said the exercise was necessitated by the delay of the Federal Government to hand over the operatorship of the oil platform to another firm which could address their impoverished status.
The royal fathers, women and youths of the communities, who attended the prayer session yesterday in Awaza community of Abia State, regretted that despite being blessed by natural resources, they still wallow in anguish and poverty.
The indigenes expressed the belief in God to come to their rescue.The community’s Women Leader, Adaeze Wabukonye, reiterated that the areas had been neglected, adding that only God could ensure the exit of the Dutch oil major from the area.
She said: “We are not happy that we are been abandoned by SPDC that has been operating in this area since 1958. We have no water, no electricity, no good road, no hospital, the neglect is too much yet we have an oil field that produces thousands of oil barrel per day, and this is wickedness.
“We don’t want Shell to operate here again. Today (yesterday), we come together to pray and ask God to intervene. Only God can make Shell to leave so that another company that will understand our suffering will come.”
Also, the monarch of Owaza Asa, Obioma Nworgu, decried that communities of OML11 were still underdeveloped after producing oil for over 60 years.His words: “The subject matter is that the host communities as the largest oil block in West Africa are neglected.“The prayer summit is to seek the face of God to make Shell to leave our land, because since 1958 we have not achieved anything.”
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