Members of Agbidiama Community Youth Council, host of Opukushi, Tunu and Clough Creek flow stations operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have shut down activities at Opukushi flow station.
President of the aggrieved youths in Ekeremor community, Torke Ekpetun, said after Thursday’s action, the youths called for dialogue to resolve the face-off between them and the oil major.
He explained that the protest followed the refusal of the oil service companies operating in the area to meet their development obligations to the community.
Ekpetun said the obligations included provision of jobs and empowerment of the residents, engagement of a non-indigenous firm by Shell for catering services, and neglect of community leaders by the oil major’s management.
SPDC’s Media Relations Manager Bamidele Odugbesan said the oil company valued a cordial relationship with its host communities and would not do anything to jeopardise it.
He said: “It is a long-standing policy of SPDC to provide opportunities for its host communities, including but not limited to community contracts, scholarships at different levels, economic empowerment programmes, such as LiveWIRE, healthcare support, like the Oloibiri Health Programme and COVID-19 equipment donations to Bayelsa and other states.
“We also have GMoU community development programme that funds community projects decided by the communities.
“As we strive for a stronger relationship with our host communities, we are open to discussions on any complaints for an amicable resolution.”