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OML 11 host communities decry lack of electricity 50 years after oil exploration

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electricity (energy)

Host communities of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 have decried a lack of electricity for about 50 years of oil exploration activities in their oil-bearing communities.

The communities have, however, sent a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him not to renew the operatorship of the oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Chairman of the OML 11 Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Obioma Levi Nworgu, disclosed this yesterday during a meeting of representatives of the host-communities at Owaza in Ukwa-West Local Council of Abia State.

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OML 11 covers communities in Bonny, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro, Etche, Omuma, Eleme, Gokana, Khana, and Tai local councils of Rivers State as well as in Ukwa-East and Ukwa-West local councils of Abia State.

The monarch said that based on Shell’s neglect and disturbing activities, the OML 11 host-communities want President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take over the operatorship of the facilities in OML 11 to pave way for robust negotiation with the host-communities.

Nworgu, who is the traditional ruler of Etiti-Oha Owaza community, accused SPDC of poor corporate social responsibility (CSR) and poor human relations with its host-communities.

He said: “We have not achieved anything since 1958 Shell started operating this facility. There is no electricity in Owaza and no good road in Asaland. No good road in the oil-bearing communities.

“Shell has not done anything since 1958. It is just today, October 7, 2019, that Shell is just coming to do an environmental assessment. Nobody was consulted; that is the kind of intimidation we go through even with our resources.

“That is the mandate of the people because President Muhammadu Buhari, who loves his people by his own good administration, has vowed to carry people along.

“Look at Afam, look at Etche, look at Oyigbo, Asa, we are all dying. The lives of our people are cut short due to oil activities. Let the Federal Government come to the aid of the people here. Asa land needs to be cleaned up.

“The youths think that the traditional rulers are manipulating all that is coming from the oil firms. But the truth is that nothing is coming from them.”

Meanwhile, National Co-ordinator of Conscience of Ogoni People (COOP), Gani Topba, who led the delegation of OML 11 host-communities from Rivers State to the meeting, said the meeting was another milestone in the efforts of the host-communities to make their lives better.


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