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BAYELSA NEWS: Tension looms in Bayelsa Community over neglect by Shell

LEGISREPORTS NG – Irate youths of Gbarain Kingdom in Yenagoa LocalGovernment Area of Bayelsa State have sent a Save-Our-Soul message tothe National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and the President Goodluck Jonathan seeking their intervention in the face off between the community and the Shell Petroleum Development Company, operators of the multi-million dollars Gbarain-Ubie Gas project.

The Youths, under the aegis of the Gbarain Youth Federation(GYF), saidsince the SPDC started operations in the area in 1972, the company has faced no disturbance from the indigenes of the Communities in Gbarain kingdom.

The youths however regretted that the SPDC’s refusal to uplift the standard of living of the youths have left the communities with airborne diseases, environmental pollution and abject poverty, provoking anger within the community.

The petition by the Gbarain Youth Federation(GYF) and signed by itsPresident, Comrade Akeri Okoro,the Secetary-General, Comrade EbiugeAmakoromo and the Public Relations Officer, Comrade Ebibibo Uwoubeingha, said the continued refusal of the SPDC to acknowledge series of correspondence from the Gbarain people and honour its social responsibility clause to the Gbarain Communities is provoking tension and sense of insecurity in the kingdom.

“The entire communities under the Gbarain kingdom frown at the neglect by the SPDC and a violation of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the Company. The operations of the oil multinational in Gbarain kingdom have left the communities to suffer abject poverty,air borne diseases and environmental pollution.

“We are baffled and left in dismay that since the SPDC started operation in the area in 1972,the company has virtually done nothing to uplift the living standard of the people in the area. The incessant Environmental challenges witnessed in the area is attributed to the SPDC operations with high incidence of Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis and other health hazards among the indigenes of the kingdom.

“We are worried that with the existing pollution of the waters and Rivers of the kingdom and the attending hardship as a result of oil spillages with destruction of the fishing activities of the people, itmay provoke a security breach and threaten the peace in the area. TheGbarain kingdom is responsible for the hosting of the biggest Gas production facility in the whole of the West-African region.

“The GYF called on the NSA and President Jonathan to direct existing security agencies and other relevant Government bodies to intervene and bridge the gap between the oil multinational company and the people to avoid violence and disruption of peace in the area.

This report was prepared by our reporter in Yenagoa

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