Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fury over sales of OMLs in Delta

31 July 2011

By Emma Amaize

Barrels of trouble

THERE is anger among the Ndokwa, Isoko, Ijaw, Urhobo and Itsekiri peoples in Delta State against Shell Petroleum Development Company, SDPC, over recent sales of onshore blocs – Oil Mining Leases, (OML) 30, 34, 40, 42 with reserves of two billion barrels, by the Anglo-Dutch oil conglomerate.

The people are livid that the oil mining leases were sold without their consent. In June, some land owners in OML 30 in Isokoland, stormed the oil facility and beat up SPDC officials, who they chased away from the flow station.

The company invited the police who arrested the national president of the Isoko National Youths, Ogaga Egbuwoku and other Oleh youths. The arrest of the youth leaders, who had since been released, did not humidify the people, as they launched another attack on the company, destroying property, including its vehicles.


The company also rejects any suggestions that its divestment is illegal, non transparent or done to undermine the interest of any stakeholders”.

The Isoko people are not alone in the protest. In fact, the natives of  Omadino, an Itsekiri  community in Warri South Local Government Area, threatened to sue SPDC over the unlawful sales.

His poser, “Why should SPDC sell the OML without the consent of the land owners, whose sons and daughters have the capacity to buy it at the same terms and conditions that they have offered it to strangers and their cronies in contravention of the local content policy?”


“It is difficult to understand why an international company like Shell that has been preaching transparency to us is showing that its claim to transparency is only in the public sphere. It has not shown itself to be transparent,’’the report stated.

President Jonathan should intervene

Iki-Ebieroma told Sunday Vanguard that the only way to avert trouble in the region over the purported fraudulent sales of OMLs was for President Jonathan to call SPDC to order and to start negotiating with people of the host communities through their appropriate representatives, otherwise, the government would be inviting a fresh anarchy to the region, as the people were not likely to fold their hands and watch goats eat palm fronds on their heads.

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