By Emem Idio
YENAGOA-THE people of Amatu II community in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, have protested against the proposed plan by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and one of its contractors, Saidel Nigeria Limited, to situate a military house boat for an ongoing project at the boundary between the community and Bilabiri I II communities.
Amatu II in a petition to the state government by the community leader, Chief Paul Oweipade, said the magnitude of security presence contemplated by the company was capable of causing panic and unrest among the people of the area and had further heightened tensions between it and neighbouring Bilabiri I and II communities embroiled in a land battle before now.
Relocate security apparatus The community called on the state government to intervene and prevail on SPDC, Saidel Nigeria Limited and the people of Bilabiri to relocate their security apparatus to the site of the project, which traverses the land and rivers of Agbelatobo in the interest of peace.
It said: “We are constrained to make these complaints because we will not allow any security apparatus in the disguise of providing security for their companies and cronies to suppress our people, which we shall resist with the last drop of our blood.”
“The SSAGS-SPDC project has two components, the offshore and the onshore; we are only part of the offshore, they say we are not impacted in the onshore. We are aware of plans to station a security houseboat for this project at the boundary between Amatu II and Bilabiri II communities, and this is unacceptable to the people of Amatu II.
“As it were, none of the benefitting communities of the onshore bit of the project have a settlement along the estuary approaching part of the Dodo River, which primary settlers are of Iduwini extractions, namely, Ibegbene, Agoliyo-Ama, Ngodia-ama, Bisangbene 1, Bisangbene 2, Ikeka-ama, Aku-ama, Amatu 2, Amatu 1, Igunugbene, Pasanty-Ama, Lagos-Ama, Abadiyuo, among others,” the community said.
Oweipade asserted, “We are calling on concerned stakeholders in the area, the Pere of Iduwini Kingdom, Ogiobo IX, the leadership of Iduwini Development Foundation, IDF, Iduwini National Youth Body, to, as a matter of urgency, wade in to avoid plunging communities, located along the Dodo River, into another communal crisis.”
Others were the Iduwini Volunteer Force, Dodo River Regional Development Board and Ijaw Youth Council, Iduwini chapter.