Chiefs and other stakeholders in Kula community, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State have accused Shell Petroleum Development Company of delaying the reopening of the Oil Mining Lease 25 for production to take place.

Chief Timipre Sylva

The spokesman of the Kula Council of Chiefs, Fiala Okoye-Davies, made the accusation during a press briefing in Port Harcourt, the State capital on Wednesday.

He recalled that the OML-25 host communities had shut down the facility last year, but that they left the platform following intervention of the Federal Government, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.

“With the Federal Government intervention, the communities agree to flag off on September 17, 2019. So, SPDC is supposed to be on the lead to conclude the process of reopening but they have reneged.

“The partied that are steering the process are Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, the Department of Petroleum Resources and certain things were agreed.

“They (Shell) has failed to act on the agreements reached. If there is no re-entry, there is no production. Shell has been using their usual antics to delay and frustrate the process to cause crisis in the area.

“We are minded to warn against various tactics by SPDC to cause confusion and crisis again in our peaceful kingdom. We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to prevail on Shell to fulfil their pact so that the project can take off,” he stated.

They also call on security agencies to prevail on Shell to desist from any alliance with some groups in the area and “ensure a conclusion of ongoing discussion with the Federal Government and Belemaoil on behalf of the communities for the re-entry of OML-25.”

When contacted, an official in the Public Affairs Department of Shell, who did not want his name in print, said, “It is not what I can speak on because it is a government-led re-entry. It is not something I can speak on.”

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