Host communities of Oil Mining Lease 29 in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have protested against an alleged diversion of large volumes of crude oil by Shell Petroleum Development Company despite divesting its interests to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Limited in Twenty-Fifteen.
Chairman of the OML 29 Host Communities Forum, Dr. Alabodite George said at a news briefing in Yenagoa that allegations that the leading multinational company has continued to divert huge quantities of crude oil transported to its Export Terminal for export was unfortunate.
Dr. Alabodite stated that despite a court ruling on the matter and a directive from the Department of Petroluem Resources for Shell to reallocate two million, eighty-one thousand, six hundred and seventy-eight of the diverted barrels of crude to Aiteo, the practice was still ongoing, urging the Federal and Bayelsa State government to take action on the matter.
Flanked by other officials of the Forum including, the Secretary Mr. Indaikienyu Patrick, the Treasurer Mr. Inala Alafa and the Spokesman Mr. Odumalatua Agbedi, he pointed out that the development was having negative effects on the hosts communities in Nembe as well as the revenue proceeds and the economy of Bayelsa State and the Nation.
Earlier, Community members in Opu- Nembe otherwise called Bassambiri staged a protest to draw attention to the issue.
Chanting solidarity songs, they carried placards which displayed messages such as ‘Stop stealing the crude oil’, ‘Return the Stolen Crude Oil Proceeds Immediately’,’Stop Shortchanging Nembe People’,’Desist from Reducing Bayelsa Revenue Allocation’, amongst others.
The Youth President of Opu Nembe Community, Mr. Moses Ayerite said the situation has left the host communities at the receiving end in terms of meeting the needs of the host communities.
The Women Leader , Afuroyanate Beredugo and a Community member, Newman Ikirigbo emphasized that they have been denied basic amenities that should have been provided from the Memorandum of Understanding owing to the development.
The SPDC in a statement issued some days ago however denied allegations of theft and diversion of crude oil from OML 29.