The member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, on Tuesday, berated the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), for its illegal activities’ in the Niger Delta region and its disregard for laid down rules which had gravely undermined the economy of the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the lawmaker who warned the company to do away with its double standards and do the needful for the region vowed that the people of the region would use the instrument of the law to correct all the injustices done to the region.
He said the latest claims by SPDC was bogus and a ploy to further deplete the revenue the company ought to provide to the National coffers by deliberately undermining ‘ the actual production per day and the actual cost of production per day.
He also frowned at the IOCs modus operandi, where they do their costing in dollars with appaling disregard for the currency of the country they operate.
The lawmaker particularly took a swipe at SPDC’s General Manager, External Affairs, Igo Weli, for suggesting at a media workshop on Pipelines Right of Way, Encroachment and Vandalism in Port Harcourt last the weekend,
that the people of Niger Delta were responsible for the devastation and ‘near-zero development’ of the region.
He expressed shock that the SPDC’s official, who is a son of the Niger Delta, rather than defending the interest of the region or even speak truth to his bosses, would put up a contrary view even after the Royal Dutch Shell had owned up, apologized and admitted that its ‘activities in the Niger Delta region had not only abuse the rights of the people and their source of livelihoods but also gambled with the future of the region.
According to him, “you recalled that in 2010, the Vice-Chairman, Ethical Affairs Committee, Royal Dutch Shell, Bradford Houppe, in an unprecedented Public Relations Campaign, ‘The I am sorry Campaign’, publicly apologized and admitted the pains, woes, devastation and criminal activities they imported into the Niger Delta
“The company said it was sorry for the oil/gas spill, for making our rivers toxic, sorry for the gas flare that stinks up our villages, that it was also sorry for the fact that we can’t eat our fishes, we cannot grow on our lands, we cannot drink our waters among many criminal genocides committed against the people of the Niger Delta and those residing and doing businesses there.
“This public apology was done in the Hague, in the full glare of the world. Regrettably, some years down the line, a Nigerian, a son of the Niger Delta, in the name of Igo Weli, is attempting to rewrite history. Simply because he is the General Manager, External Affairs of SPDC. Shell is committing major xenophobic atrocities against the people of the region. They have unleashed unprecedented hell on our people and they are using Niger Delta sons like Igo Weli to perfect it.
“Little wonder then why about a decade after Royal Dutch Shell public admittance, nothing concrete has been done. What reparation has been done?” he questioned rhetorically.
He said SPDC’s double standards and xenophobic activities were evident in the Belema oil field’s Oil Mining lease, OML 25, with the alleged active participation of Igo Weli and some highly placed government officials.
According to him, ” Look at the Belema Oil Field OML 25, what is all the fuss? The management of SPDC and their cronies in both federal and state executives, want to acquire the oil field by proxy. Since SPDC is diversifying to Offshore, why can’t any of the indigenous companies handle the Belema Oil Field which is onshore?
“This is part of the problems in the region. Divide and rule tactics. SPDC has been in that particular locality, for years without anything to show for it. That proxy move by Shell and its government