The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has directed the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to readmit seven crude oil bearing communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area into the Oporomor Cluster Development Board, operators of SPDC’s Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
The state assembly, in a two-point resolution also invited the SPDC GMoU Coordinator, its Government and External Relations Manager, the Community Relations Manager, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Mineral Resources, the Chairman of Oporomor GMoU and representatives of affected communities to appear before the House Committee of Mineral Resources.
Opening the debate, the member representing Ekeremor Constituency 2, Honourable Wilson Dauyegha, said the affected communities: Isreallo Zion, Fouturogbene1, Fouturogbene 2, Toru-Fouturognene, Ekeremor, Amanagbene and Obirigbene were excluded from the cluster board in 2015 afte being part of the process since 2007.
Wilson described claims by SPDC that the affected communities were no longer functional as unacceptable, as the said communities have continued to suffer the adverse effects of oil exploitation in the region.
He, however, expressed concerns that if immediate steps were not taken to check the conduct of SPDC, it may lead to a point whereby the people may react, leading to a breakdown of law and order.
Members unanimously decried the divide and rule tactics adopted by the SPDC in dealing with host communities, while calling for more local inclusiveness in the drafting, signing and implementation of GMoUs.