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allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Denies Intimidating Ogonis

This Day (Lagos)
13 March 2008
Ahamefula Ogbu
Port Harcourt

Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has said it was not true that it enlisted the Joint Task Force to intimidate Ogoni indigenes into allowing them to go back to their oil facilities in Ogoniland, but was directed by Rivers State government to re-activate its facilities there.

They were reacting to allegation by Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), that SPDC recruited thugs and the JTF, to harass and intimidate them into allowing a surreptitious return to the wells it abandoned 15 years ago.
 
“Following a directive by Rivers State government, SPDC commenced a programme to secure its wells in Ogoniland, which have remained dormant since it suspended operations in the area in 1993. Fifteen wells in Eleme and Tai local government areas have been secured in an exercise that is set to be implemented in Khana and Gokana local government areas. SPDC wishes to assure that the exercise does not amount to any secret resumption of oil production in the area,” SPDC said in a statement.

Mosop alleged in a statement signed by its Information Officer, Mr Bari-ara-Kpalap, that the soldiers shot and wounded two people in the area on the instructions of SPDC, warning that their activities were capable of re-igniting conflict in the area.

However, SPDC said its activities were meant to secure the well heads on the orders of the state government under whose directive it secured 15 wells in Eleme and Tai.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200803130271.html

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