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allAfrica.com: Lebanese Kidnapped As Shell Well Catches Fire

EXTRACT: The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) President Mr. Ledum Mitee however blamed the fire on the insincerity of Shell, insisting that the well had been billowing smoke for over two months before the fire started without any action taken by Shell.

THE ARTICLE

This Day (Lagos)
NEWS
August 17, 2006
Posted to the web August 17, 2006

By Ahamefula Ogbu
Port Harcourt

Barely 24 hours after President Olusegun Obasanjo read a riot act to security forces in the country to tackle hostage takers, unknown militants yesterday abducted Mr. Daniel Cowry, a Lebanese along Mbiama-East West road in Ahoada Local Government area of Rivers State.

This came as an oil spill site in Kpean, in the Khana Local Government area of Ogoniland ignited a fire in a facility owned by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation.

The hostage is said to work with Homan Construction Company, a Bayelsa State based company but it could not be ascertained how many people were involved in the kidnap which police said happened in the early hours of yesterday when the car he was travelling in was hijacked

“I have been briefed that a Lebanese construction worker was abducted at Mbiama this morning, but we are yet to be briefed of details into what really happened”, the police said.

While four expatriates, two Britons, an American and a German were at 11.30pm on Sunday kidnapoped along Abacha road, five others were released at two separate incidents in the state.

The three Filipinos who were kidnapped in Bonny regained freedom in the early hours of Monday while the Morrocan and his Belgian counterpart regained freedom late the same day.

President Obasanjo has directed a task force to match kidnappers force for force in the Niger Delta as the spate of kidnapÆmed the well where the fire ignited was an abandoned well and therefore not active and would not be drawn into explaining possible cause of the fire until a proper investigation was carried out.

The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) President Mr. Ledum Mitee however blamed the fire on the insincerity of Shell, insisting that the well had been billowing smoke for over two months before the fire started without any action taken by Shell.

Mitee added that contrary tothe claim by Shell that it has made efforts toput out the fire but was resisted by the community as nothing has been attempoted by the company while the fire was still spreading.

“How could a people at risk of being consumed by the same fire have prevented those who want to help them stop it, is that logical? From my own observation, they have not even made any efforts at putting the fire out, nobody has seen anyone from Shell at the site.

“Supposing it was true that they tried to put the fire out and they were prevented, who did they report that to, at least they know the leaders of the people, they know where to go, but this is just a way to continue persecuting us, they want to squeeze us”, he charged.

This Day (Lagos)
August 17, 2006
By Ahamefula Ogbu
Port Harcourt

Barely 24 hours after President Olusegun Obasanjo read a riot act to security forces in the country to tackle hostage takers, unknown militants yesterday abducted Mr. Daniel Cowry, a Lebanese along Mbiama-East West road in Ahoada Local Government area of Rivers State.

This came as an oil spill site in Kpean, in the Khana Local Government area of Ogoniland ignited a fire in a facility owned by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation.

The hostage is said to work with Homan Construction Company, a Bayelsa State based company but it could not be ascertained how many people were involved in the kidnap which police said happened in the early hours of yesterday when the car he was travelling in was hijacked

“I have been briefed that a Lebanese construction worker was abducted at Mbiama this morning, but we are yet to be briefed of details into what really happened”, the police said.

While four expatriates, two Britons, an American and a German were at 11.30pm on Sunday kidnapoped along Abacha road, five others were released at two separate incidents in the state.

The three Filipinos who were kidnapped in Bonny regained freedom in the early hours of Monday while the Morrocan and his Belgian counterpart regained freedom late the same day.

President Obasanjo has directed a task force to match kidnappers force for force in the Niger Delta as the spate of kidnapÆmed the well where the fire ignited was an abandoned well and therefore not active and would not be drawn into explaining possible cause of the fire until a proper investigation was carried out.

The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) President Mr. Ledum Mitee however blamed the fire on the insincerity of Shell, insisting that the well had been billowing smoke for over two months before the fire started without any action taken by Shell.

Mitee added that contrary to the claim by Shell that it has made efforts toput out the fire but was resisted by the community as nothing has been attempted by the company while the fire was still spreading.

“How could a people at risk of being consumed by the same fire have prevented those who want to help them stop it, is that logical? From my own observation, they have not even made any efforts at putting the fire out, nobody has seen anyone from Shell at the site.

“Supposing it was true that they tried to put the fire out and they were prevented, who did they report that to, at least they know the leaders of the people, they know where to go, but this is just a way to continue persecuting us, they want to squeeze us”, he charged.

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