Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
FORTY-EIGHT hours after some entertainment-laced protest at the Security House Boat of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Otumara Flow Station, folks from Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have gained entry into the oil and gas facility.
The implication of the inroads into the yard of SPDC is the looming loss of 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil production if the protesting indigenes eventually shut down production.
This is the latest coming from Otumara Flow Station which has been under siege since Wednesday August 23 over alleged SPDC’s attempt to circumvent the extant provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as it relates to its implementation which is said to be community-based.
The protesters are saying loudly that they bear the brunt of oil spillage and the like, and should, therefore, be allowed to reap the benefits as host communities as enshrined in the PIA.
They had, on Wednesday, given SPDC authorities 48 hours to interface with them as regards the joint establishment of Otumara Host Community Trust for the implementation of the PIA or risk a shutdown.
With the expiration of the ultimatum by 5:00p.m on Friday, the aggrieved protesters headed into the yard in their peculiar manner in the very presence of assorted joint security agencies.
After gaining entry into the facility, the protesters continued with their chants, dance and drumming just as they display banners expressing their demands and displeasure. Obviously, they’re spending the night inside the facility untill respite comes their way.
One of the leaders of Ugborodo community, Mr Alex Eyengho, who confirmed the occupation of the SPDC facility by the protesters to Stonix News on Friday, with video footages as evidence, however warned the security agents to tread softly so as not to shed blood of the innocent protesters.
According to him, “The protesters are right now inside the Shell facility, after the expiration of the 48 hours ultimatum.
“Report it. Quote me. For now, the protesters are still holding back from shutting down the facility,” he noted.
“I dare say that the security agencies should not try anything stupid, except they are ready to kill thousands of protesters and people of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun who are the host communities of the Otumara Shell facility
“The 48 hours ultimatum expired at exactly 5:00p.m today and the protesters gained access shortly after,” he reiterated.
He added that “We are peacefully waiting for Shell, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and his Gas counterpart.
“SPDC authorities are saying they are willing to fly to Otumara tomorrow morning, together with the NUPRC.
“This is beyond the soldiers to resist, except they want to have corpses of all kinds on the Escravos river.”
Stonix News recall that the three communities had jointly come under Otumara Host Community Trust to interface with NUPRC as stipulated in PIA which implementation is community-based.
A similar face-off is also pending between the Ugborodo Federated Communities also in Warri South West Local Government Area which had come together to form the Ikpere Host Community Trust in the implementation of the PIA.
SPDC and Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) have also been accused of playing hide and seek with their host communities and refusing to interface with them on the matter.