By Perpetua Egesimba
Lagos-based lawyer, Festus Keyamo yesterday gave Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Hydrodive Nigeria Limited a week ultimatum to stop repairs of the 48 Inches Export Pipeline located at Odimodi, Beniboye and Isiayegbene communities of Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, until they deal with the correct and true representatives of the federated communities.
Keyamo, who was speaking as the mouthpiece of the three communities during a press briefing and protest by the representatives of the communities at Hydrodive Nigeria Limited in Lagos over the purported award of the contract to the Hydrodive Nigeria Limited by SPDC without the involvement of the host communities, said SPDC is trying to give out the contracts to impostors.
“They pretended as if they felt that those people were the true representatives of the communities. That is the blackmail they have so far raised, despite our peaceful nature of dealing with them, they have attempted to contract this repair out to unknown fellows.
“We are asking SPDC directly to halt any further action on the repair of that pipeline until they deal with the correct and true representatives of this federated communities, we will take all legitimate means to stop the repair of those pipelines if they don’t do so. This press conference and protest is just the beginning, we are here calling SPDC and Hydrodive, we are giving them an ultimatum of one week to call a meeting, sit down with us and discuss the way forward, failing which our people here will legitimately stop any further work there.’’
Reacting to the accusations, Deputy Managing Director of Hydrodive Nigeria Limited, Frank Ifedi, said they have been dealing with seven communities, Ogulagha representatives inclusive, adding that Ogulagha community was introduced to them as the host community by the SPDC.
“We were taken by surprise by this protest, we were not expecting this. We have no issues with anybody. We are basically contractors like any other person. They should go and meet SPDC. This job was legitimately given to us and the Federal Government is happy with the progress so far. It is an emergency repair. We had no idea of the issues being raised by these communities,’’ he said.