Written by Jacob Segun Olatunji and Kolawole Daniel, Abuja Thursday, 06 October 2011
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, put machinery in motion to probe the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), over the alleged funding of clashes and killings in the oil-rich Niger Delta area of the country, especially in Rumuekpe village, Rivers State.
Nigerian Tribune recalls that a report by a London-based oil and gas industry watchdog, Platform, had revealed that the oil giant was fuelling armed conflicts that resulted in the killing of about 60 persons in the Niger Delta.
To this end, the House had mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), chaired by Honourable Muraina Ajibola, to invite the oil giant and explain its side of the story.
A member of the House, Honourable Andrew Uchendu, had, in a motion entitled: Alleged funding of killings and clashes in the Niger Delta by Shell Petroleum Development Company, told the House that the oil company had been accused of doing little to develop the communities it had been operating, including Rumuekpe village.
According to him, a non-governmental organisation and a London-based oil and gas watchdog have, in their recent publications, indicted Shell of directly funding rival groups in the Niger Delta over the years, leading to the death of 60 persons and destruction of communities.
He then urged the House invite Shell to explain its position as regards the allegation, which he described as serious and grievous.
When the speaker, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, who presided over the plenary session put the motion to vote, it was unanimously adopted by the members.