Irate members of the Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups in Delta state have threatened to shut down the operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in their land if the company fails to keep the terms of an agreement reached sometime ago.
In a statement issued yesterday to newsmen in Warri by Moses Eduogha and Fregene Emiko on behalf of the groups, they accused the Anglo-Dutch oil company of instigating crisis among the host communities with its divide and rule antics.
The group expressed sadness at the fact that the Shell has refused to honour a peace meeting summoned by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the host communities on December 15, 2015.
According to the groups, “We see SPDC’s action as a big slap on both the governor’s face and ours. We decided to tell the whole world that Shell is definitely looking for trouble. Our people are already agitated and we will give them fire for fire.
“Host communities have been impoverished. You can imagine a situation where our contractors are made to renew their contract papers on yearly basis with nothing to show for it.”
The statement noted that neither Ijaw nor Itsekiri are directly involved in any contract, rather the company staff engages their cronies to do the job local contractors are supposed to do.
It said, “Activities of Shell were capable of causing crisis among the host communities. Nigeria’s local content law is not working in Shell as the workers have turned contractors.”
The embittered youths, who maintained that they are already beating war drums, called on Shell to immediately respect the agreement reached, “else they will be flushed out from our land.
“Shell’s action is an open invitation to crisis,” they added