Indigenes of affected environment under Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities (CBOSIC), have embarked on a peaceful protest at the Liaison Office of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Bayelsa State, and have issued a 14-day ultimatum demanding payment of compensation by the company or risk operational disruption.
The body called on the federal government, local and international organisations as well as well-meaning Nigerians, to prevail on SPDC management to pay up the compensation as recommended by various regulatory agencies to the people who have had to contend with years of hardship caused as a result of its of negligence on their land.
While stating that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had ordered Shell to pay them, the group insisted that it would not rest on their oars until they secured justice for their people.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards displayed by the angry protesters included; “Wayo Shell pays our Bonga spill money now”, “Shell clean our environment now”, “We are tired of SPDC divide & Rule” “Our people have suffered enough” “FG Please Come To Our Rescue” and “Shell stop your evil practice,” among others.
Addressing journalists, Mr Hosanna Jalogho-Williams, Vice Chairman of (CBOSIC) and leader of the protest, said that Shell had been grossly adamant to both directives hence the reasons for the peaceful protest.
“Pay the compensation, we are giving 14 days ultimatum for them to do a redress immediately because we have come here peacefully as law-abiding citizens, but, we cannot continue to wallow in pain and anguish” he said.
Reacting, Mr. Beniowei Simeon, Chief Security Officer, Shell Liaison Office, Bayelsa State disclosed that the protesters have passed across their messages while urging them to be patient for those at the helm of affairs to respond.
“This message is enough for those at the helm of affairs to listen, to understand and to take action.
Let’s go back home, wait and see the response that will come from this protest. I am assuring you that a round table discussion will be held to this effect to address your concerns” he responded.