Niger Delta Cleanup, Prerequisite for Shell Asset Sale, Exit, Say Clark, IYC
Renowned elder statesman and leader of Ijaw nation Edwin Clark has firmly stated that the Niger Delta and the Ijaw nation are unwilling to endure further exploitation by multinational oil companies, with a specific focus on the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).
Speaking last week in Abuja, while receiving a delegation of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), who paid him a courtesy call, led by their National Vice President, Atigbi Freedom, he urged multinationals to first clean up the oil spills in the Niger Delta before selling their assets and exiting.
The IYC had drawn the attention of Clark to the plan of Shell to sell their assets, as it prepares to exit despite the effect of the oil spillage and the degradation of their environment with all the attendant health hazards.
Clark said that Niger Delta can no longer tolerate the injustice, adding that it is unfair and unacceptable as they will explore all legal options. He said: “I have a list of court issues containing 147 cases taken against Shell, and some of the oil companies, more of them are coming. Enough is enough; we can no longer tolerate their exploitation.
“If you go to Gbagada today, Chevron has an estate there. Their workers who work in Niger Delta don’t pay their taxes to the region, because they live in Lagos.
“There could not have been Lekki if Chevron, Mobile and other companies were not there.”
“You can imagine a situation whereby the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Corporation (NNPC), which was established in 1977 to look after the oil industry. One would have expected that the capital would be in Niger Delta, possibly in Port Harcourt.
“Those who feel that they own this country would put it wherever they want. Out of 11 members appointed by the President, the Chairman, very qualified, is from Akoko, in Ondo State, five of the 11 members are from the North; the only two executive directors are from the North.
“South East has one. The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, gave one to a lady, who was commissioner in his government when he was governor of Akwa Ibom State.”