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Bayelsa’s 7 Communities Occupy Shell Oilfields, Demand Separate Development Trust

Seven communities in Bayelsa State, including Bisangbene, Amatu 1, Amatu 2, Letugbene, Orobiri, Ogbintu, and Azamabiri, have taken a stand by occupying the Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) Estuary Area oilfields in Ekeremor Local Government Area (EKELGA).

They are demanding a separate Host Community Development Trust (HCDT), citing cultural affinity and a desire to manage their own development.

The protesters, who have been at the facility for eight days, are resisting SPDC’s plan to include five additional communities in the HCDT, which they believe would hinder their progress.

According to Timothy Geregere, Chairman of Bisangbene Community, the communities have made repeated attempts to resolve the issue through negotiation but have been ignored.

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Geregere explained that the seven communities have a long history of working together and want to maintain their separate identity.

According to him, the 12 communities in the EA oilfield have different clans and interests, making it difficult to work together effectively.

The communities are seeking a separate trust to manage their development, as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

When contacted, SPDC spokesperson Michael Adande stated that the matter is currently in litigation, and the company is awaiting the outcome before taking further action.

 

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Written by Tapre Timine

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