OrderPaperToday – A member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Mr. Farah Dagogo, has berated Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over what he described as “xenophobic atrocities” and accused the company of fueling ‘criminal activities’ in the Niger Delta.
The lawmaker said the ‘company’s contemptuous disregard for laid down rules’ has gravely undermined the economy of the country that is reliant on oil revenues from the Niger Delta region.
Mr. Dagogo made these known via a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday and signed on his behalf by Mr. Ibrahim Lawal, his media aide.
He warned the company to do away with its double standards and ‘stop talking from both sides of its mouth’, adding that ” we will use the instrument of the law to correct all the injustices done to the Niger Delta region”.
Dagogo expressed disappointment over alleged claims by an SPDC official that people from the Niger Delta region were responsible for their backwardness in terms of development due their dubious activities.
The lawmaker, who represents Degema/Bonny on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the green chamber of the National Assembly, particularly took a swipe at SPDC’s General Manager, External Affairs, Igo Weli, for reportedly suggesting at a media workshop on Pipelines Right of Way, Encroachment and Vandalism in Port Harcourt over the weekend, that the people of Niger Delta are responsible for the devastation and ‘near zero development’ of the region.
He said SPDC’s double standards and xenophobic activities are evident in the Belema oil field’s Oil Mining lease, OML 25, with the alleged active participation of Igo Weli and some highly placed government officials.
“Look at the Belema Oil Field OML 25, what is all the fuss? The management of SPDC and their cronies in both federal and state executives, want to acquire the oil field by proxy. Since SPDC is diversifying to offshore, why can’t any of the indigenous companies handle the Belema Oil Field which is onshore? This is part of the problems in the region. Divide and rule tactics.
“SPDC has been in that particular locality for years without anything to show for it. That proxy move by Shell and its government allies, in the Federal and State executives, will not work. There are lots of indigenous companies qualified and with the requisite qualifications and capacities to do the job; one of them should be considered so they can bring the much needed development to a community in dire need of it.
“Igo Weli should be reminded that before his employment by SPDC, he has had cause to lead a public protest against the activities of Shell in his community in Rivers State. What he fought against is now what he is encouraging in Kula kingdom. Unfortunately for him, I will liase with my colleagues at the National Assembly; we will use the instrument of the law to correct all the injustices done to the Niger Delta region.
“The SPDC and other IOCs, as well as their cronies in government, both federal and state executives, should know that Niger Delta and Rivers State in particular is not a conquered territory. Our gentility should not be misconstrued for cowardice.”