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SPDC, lawmaker, contractors fingered in renewed crisis in Bayelsa community

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• Stakeholders accused the army of shooting sporadically in the community

Following the recent youth clash in the Aghoro ll community in the Iduwini kingdom of Bayelsa state, a lawmaker, contractors and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC have been allegedly accused of inciting crisis in the community.

It would be recalled that on Friday two youths groups clashed in the community, following disagreement emanating from the outcome of the Community CDC election in the penultimate month.

It was learnt that the clash destroyed houses and properties worth millions of naira in the community.

Addressing newsmen, the newly elected Chairman Comrade Konyefa Miejude allegedly accused a lawmaker, contractors, and the Oil Giant, SPDC, of igniting the renewed crisis in the community by recognizing and giving some job slots to the former Youth Executives led by Mr Party Alabor, Timi Felix and Daniel Etaghene Ikpama, Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary whose tenure expired since 23rd February 2022.

Miejude noted that the action of SPDC officials and the former executive committee violated the directive of the Bayelsa State Government stopping members of the two groups from parading themselves as leaders of the Community pending the resolution of every issue bedeviling the community by the state government.

According to him, Soldiers led by one Captain Okereke from Elele Battalion allegedly acted under the instructions of one Mr Brown, Lucky, and Dominic all personnel of SPDC invaded the peaceful abhor, and shot sporadically for hours just to intimidate them.

The chairman-elect also fingered some indigenous companies for fuelling crisis in the Community.

Miejude stated, ”These indigenous companies are fronting for one Community Relations Coordinator,( CRC) of SPDC Port Harcourt and a lawmaker in the community to impose a stooge as community chairman as to exploit and dictate for them. They are using the NIGERIAN ARMY to suppress and oppress the leadership of the community, for instance, these same persons allegedly used the Army to prevent the swearing- Ceremony of the newly elected officials of the Community.
The army fired gunshots into the air sporadically for hours all in a bid to intimidate and harass the people into submission”

Meanwhile, Comr Miejude has called on the Federal and Bayelsa State Governments to call SHELL and those indigenes collaborating with them to destroy Aghoro ll Community to desist from doing so and all operations by the Company should stop, until all issues threatening the peace of the Community are addressed as earlier directed by the Bayelsa State Government.

He narrated that the latest conflict in the community started when they confronted Mr party Alabor, Felix and Etaghene Ikpama Chairman, Vice and Secretary of the former Youth Executives whose tenure expired since 23rd February 2022 that it was not their duty to solicit for job slots for the Community rather it was the duty of the Community Executives, CDC.

Miejude, “so we brought them to the town hall, while we were in the Town Hall Some Soldiers under the instructions of SHELL, not Bayelsa State Government started shooting sporadically into the air to intimidate our people at the Town Hall, while we were questioning them, some soldiers came and intimidated the community and took them away to an unknown destination.

“The Soldiers made us understand that these three men are the people troubling the Community based on security report. So they have been whisked away. Everybody was still vigilant when the report got to us that Hon. Fred Agbedi House has been destroyed. We were in our area we do not know or have knowledge of what happened there. We are Community Leaders we are not Politicians. We have no business with Hon. Fred Agbedi. He is a member of the Federal House of Representatives Abuja. So we have no business with him and we know nothing about the attack on his House”.

An elder in the community, Chief Doctor Bosine recalled that he had suffered a lot as a result of the Community problems. He asserted that the present problem was as a result of SPDC recognition and giving Job slots to people who are out of office”.

However, the Bayelsa State Government had already asked every party to maintain the status quo, yet these guys were still operating to the extent, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Oil Companies on behalf of the Community without authorization.

“So we caught them and brought them to our Town Hall but before we knew it the Soldiers who were in SPDC House Boat working for the company fired shots rapidly to intimidate our people and took the three men away to an unknown destination. The Soldiers are acting under the instructions of SPDC and not the Bayelsa State Government. We are calling on the Company to desist from this divide and rule tactics for the interest of Peace and if it wants to continue to operate in our Community.

“For those who are familiar with the situation of Aghoro 11 Community, blamed the cause of the present problem rocking the community on the Bayelsa State Government for failing to address it timely. It is two years now they have not been able to resolve the problem, most especially the Amananawei ( King) crisis thereby leaving the Community a Central Leadership vacuum”.

He further said HRH, Afro Biukeme had been nominated and coronated by the people more than one year ago, the Bayelsa State Government asked him to wait, for him to be given Staff of Office.

The newly elected Executives of the CDC has not been sworn- in.

“This lack of Centralized Leadership of the Community is what gives SPDC the open opportunity to its operations of ‘Divide And Rule’ Tactics among the locals, the youths alleged.

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