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PANDEF kicks against planned sale of OML 25

PANDEF kicks against planned sale of OML 25

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Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

The Pan Niger Delta Forum led by Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has kicked against the planned sale of the Belema oil field, OML 25, by Shell Petroleum Development Company to Chrester Nigeria Limited.

The group insisted on the divestment of the oil field to an indigenous firm, saying it would resist moves by the multinational oil company to sell it to a foreign corporate entity.

Addressing a press conference on the contentious oil field in Abuja on Monday, Clark asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgent priority, grant Niger Delta indigenes and state governments, who were interested, the right of first refusal on the renewal and award of oil licences.

This, he added, would positively and rapidly impact on the social and economic prosperity of the region and the country as a whole, and hugely contribute to the peace and security in the Niger Delta.

He stated that PANDEF would no longer allow oil companies to treat the Niger Delta people like their slaves and the region like a toxic dumping ground without taking responsibility.

Clark accused SPDC of instigating an attack by soldiers on Kula kingdom, Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State on September 15, 2018.

The PANDEF leader called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Chief of Defence Staff and the National Security Adviser to set up a high-powered investigative panel to uncover those behind the deployment of naval gunboats to the OML 25 host communities in Kula Kingdom.

He stated, “SPDC must therefore put on hold any planned sale of OML 25 in the overall interest of peace and stability of the Niger Delta region.

“SPDC must produce the report of the pre-environmental impact assessment carried out before their operations and post-impact assessment to determine the state of the environment.

“This will be done in partnership with the UN Environmental Protection Agency, the communities, the state and the Federal Government environmental agencies, PANDEF and SPDC.”

Clark accused SPDC of failing to honour its agreement with the host communities of OML 25, noting that it instead sold some of the flow stations in 2014 and was presently planning to sell the Belema Gas Station to Chrester Nigeria Limited.

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