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Shell in bed with Nigerian Militants again?

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Shell appoints ex-militant leader as security consultant

By Olamilekan Lartey, Yenagoa, Published: Friday, 8 Jan 2010

The Shell Petroleum Development Company on Thursday appointed ex-militant commander, Eris Paul, a.k.a Ogunboss, to secure its pipelines in the once volatile Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Although the value of the security job is unknown, Ogunboss said he had commenced a surveillance of the network of pipelines in Nengeama, Enewari, Ekowe, Ikiabiri and Peremabiri in the Southern Ijaw areas and the Diebu Creek flow station and its trunk lines in Bayelsa State.

The development could not be confirmed immediately by Shell, but Ogunboss said the firm, Eristex Pipeline Patrol, had carried out a reconnaissance tour of the pipelines under his area, in conjunction with the leaders of the communities along the routes of the pipelines.

He urged the oil bearing communities to sustain the spirit of the amnesty programme to ensure the smooth operations of the oil companies in Bayelsa State.

Until the Federal Government’s amnesty programme that granted a reprieve to militants in the Niger Delta, Ogunboss had commanded camps in the Southern Ijaw area with over 250 fighters.

Ogunboss is one of the ex-militant commanders that had been rehabilitated under the amnesty programme of the Federal Government with some assistance from the Bayelsa State Government.

They had been well catered for in various ways, with some of the quartered in the Government House and other choice hotels in Yenagoa, so that the economy of the state which relies solely on oil could stabilise.

Before the era of militancy, oil wells in Bayelsa State produced an average of 500,000 barrels per day.

At the peak of militancy, the daily output dropped to 50,000 barrels as the militants disrupted oil production and destroyed installations.

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