OML 25 Dispute: IYC pledges support for Belema, Offoin-Ama Communities

The Speaker of Ijaw Youth Council 4th Mobile Parliament and Personal Assistant to the Minister for State Petroleum Chief Timipiri Sylva, Digimie Pongoyo, has lamented the inadequate facilities in the communities hosting the disputed OML 25, particularly Belema and Offoin-Ama Communities.

Pongoyo stated during a visit to the communities on Thursday that the IYC is entirely in support of the shutdown of the facilities operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company.

The speaker frowned at the poor state of learning, absence of medical facilities, electricity, access road and lack of potable water which are fundamental to the life of inhabitants of any environment.

He stated that the body would take all necessary action to that effect and make out plans and time were the traditional rulers, chiefs and stakeholders of the host communities will have a round table discussion with the Honourable Minister for Petroleum where they will lay their plight and agitation before the minister.

The Amayanabo of Offoin-Ama Chief Sibia Aaron Sukubo while speaking stated that the community can no longer allow Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to operate in their community haven failed to carry out any meaningful project in the community.

He, however, used the medium to call on the divestment of the platform to an indigenous oil firm particularly Belemaoil Producing Ltd.

Chief Okoye David, who spoke on behalf of Belema community lamented their displeasure against the operation of SPDC, that despite operating in the host community for over 40years there was nothing to show regarding infrastructural development.

He said that a result of the failure of SPDC to carry out its corporate social responsibilities, the community deemed it fit as part of its right of first refusal to stop the operation of SPDC.

The Chief also demanded that the operational license of OML 25 be withdrawn from SPDC and given to an indigenous company which is Belemaoil, owned and managed by Engr. Jack-Rich Tein Jnr. for there to be a replication of what he is already doing in his operation in Kula and Idama communities were they correctly operate.

The President of National Youth Council of Nigeria Amb Sukubo Saraigbe Sukubo said it’s no story that Offoin-Ama and Belema communities have suffered over the years despite the presence of Shell.

He also appealed with the Speaker of IYC to ensure that the Minister of State for Petroleum Timipri Silva knows about their plight.