Oil bearing community in Bayelsa bemoans dearth of social amenities

PHOTO: timeslive.co.za

The people of Akenfa community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa, have bemoaned lack of social amenities in their area.

They expressed concern that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) had yet to embark on any community development project since it commenced operations in the area.

The Paramount Ruler of Akenfa 1, 2 and 3 communities, Chief Obadiah Osomu, raised the concern on Monday when members of Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP) paid a fact finding visit to Akenfa.

Members of the coalition visited Akenfa community to get first-hand information on the plight of the people.

Osomu said that the Concrete Bridge Project initiated by Shell to link Akenfa 2 and 3 to Akenfa 1 had been abandoned since 2001.

He said that the community had endured the adverse effects of on-going oil exploration by the oil firm.

He said that efforts to engage SPDC in discussion proved abortive because the oil firm “refused to dialogue with its host community.”

He said that the attention of the state government had been drawn to the matter.

The traditional ruler said that the communities had given three month ultimatum to Shell to fulfil its development obligations or face the wrath of the people.

In his remark, Chief Henry Nabena, Chairman, Bayelsa chapter of the NDYCPP, lauded the monarch for intimating the team of the development.

He urged him to exercise patience and urged the communities not to resort to violence in seeking redress.

Nabena said the coalition believed that dialogue remained the most effective tool for conflict resolution.

He advised against violence and vandalism of oil infrastructure which would ultimately scare away investors.

He pledged to mediate and facilitate discussions between the oil firm and its host community with a view to resolving the conflict.



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