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Daily Independent (Nigeria): Why We Sent Relief Materials To Ogoni Community, By Shell

By Odudu Okpongete
Senior Correspondent
Port Harcourt
Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell, says the food items and the N5 million cash donated early this month to K-Dere, an Ogoni community, were relief materials in respect of an oil spill that occurred in the area. The company made the clarification following allegations by the National Youth Council of Ogoni People (NYCOP) that the items were donated to undermine resistance and sway local resolve ahead of negotiations to enable resumption of oil exploration in the area.
Describing the NYCOP statement as untrue, Shell said the relief materials were sent through the Rivers State Ministry of Environment to the affected community, following an earlier agreement reached between the company and the ministry.
“The company handed over relief materials to the Rivers State Ministry of Environment for onward delivery to K-Dere community in respect of an oil spill, which occurred when unknown persons tampered with a wellhead in the area.
“Officials of the Ministry had brokered discussions between Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the community at which it was agreed that SPDC should supply the relief materials to the affected people,” the company said last week, adding that the materials were given purely on humanitarian grounds.
The firm said it was wrong for elements in Ogoni to turn round and accuse it of bringing Greek gifts to the community after the matter was reported to the House of Assembly that the company refused to donate relief materials.

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