The people of Omudioga Community in Emohua local government area of Rivers State has shut down Ahia flow station operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, on behalf of their partners and have also given a one-week ultimatum to the company to give them electricity.
Speaking during a peaceful demonstration at the SHELL facility located within the community, the Chairman of Omudioga Community development committee, Barr. Chikweri Emeka Ogbugo explained that they shut down the facility to register their grievances against SPDC.
“We are here to let the world know that my people have been short-changed for too long, my people have suffered for up to 50 years, SPDC has been in our community since 1961 and till now there’s nothing to be proud of the company in the community.
“Apart from one kilometre of the road since 1961, they gave us light that didn’t last for 2 years around 2002 and till about 2005, we didn’t see light again. Five years ago we got light from Sahara energy, a company operating in our neighbouring town, Omoku but only this year they came and disconnected us that we should go to SPDC to give us light and they are right about it because SPDC is our tenant, we have more than 30 oil wells, we have a flow station that gathers oil from other communities and SHELL has sidelined us for too long” he said.
Barr Ogbugo also explained that they had written several letters to the company but to no avail.
“We have written to SHELL to come and give us light and we agreed with them to award a contract of 9 Million to restore power. Shell is still given us false hope, my people are angry and we have shut down the flow station and we are not leaving here until we receive positive change.
“The light is not part of the GMOU, rather it is a legacy project that Shell should have done before GMOU and we have said don’t give us light from your flow station, rather connect us to the national grid but they kept promising.
“Our next action is to wait for them, they are losing Money, SHELL makes about 80 Millionaire every day so they should remain in darkness alongside the community”.
Emeka Ogbugo who also doubles as the Chairman, Ogbakor Omudioga further assured his people to remain resolute and give the company one week to resolve the issue.
Also speaking, the representative of the Chiefs in the community, Chief Tony Assobinawu said that they are in full support of the protest against SPDC.
According to him: We have been neglected for too long, they have refused to give us our rights, no good water, no internal roads, they refused to give us electricity, no employment. Just recently, we heard that SPDC has inaugurated GMOU clusters in Emohua local government, it’s only Omudioga community that is left out, we want our community to be inaugurated as soon as possible”, he said.