Protest Against Shell Petroleum on MOU

The purported signed agreement between representatives of the Kula kingdom Akuku Toru Local Government host communities of OML 25 and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation SPDC has run into stormy waters.

The agreement which was witnessed by the Rivers state government was to facilitate the payment by Shell to the community of their entitled compensation fees as enshrined in the Global Memorandum of Understanding GMoU and ensure the opening of the oil mining lease OML 25  flow station.

However, it was gathered that as soon as the agreement was signed, some stakeholders in the community grew weary of it and protested against some clauses in the agreement especially the concent to open the flow station for business by Shell.

The chiefs, women, youths of the community took to the street to protest against the signed agreement which they described as a bad deal and totally rejected it as non-binding on them.

The two signatories to the agreement, the paramount ruler of Offoin-Ama, HRH Sibia Sukobu and Mrs. Markson Telema a woman leader equally disowned the agreement claiming they only signed for the money owed the community by Shell to be paid which is their GMoU entitlements and did not authorize the opening of the flow station.

The rejection and opposition against the signed deal culminated in the chiefs, women, youths of Belema, Offoin Ama and Ngeje staging a protest on Tuesday against the agreement.

It would be recalled that the OML 25 flow station owned and operated by Shell in the Host communities of the protesters was shut down for over two years as a result of protest by the communities against discrimination and neglect by the oil giant Shell.

Several attempts made to brokered peace and resume production has failed until a recent peace meeting brokered by the Rivers state government in which an agreement was reached between the communities and Shell.

It was revealed that part of the agreement contained an MOU between the communities and Shell, which is the sole reason for the protest. HRH Sokubo is said to have feigned ignorance of that part of the signed agreement which is the attached MOU.

Sokubo with other members of his communities is insisting that Shell should pay them their owed entitlements but should not resume in their community until a proper MOU is signed and implemented between all parties.