By Ndu Samuel
Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative (IPDI) has warned the management of oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) against using military might to oppress the people of Ojobo community for protesting against ill treatment by the oil company.
The group issued the warning through a press release signed by its national president, Comr. Austin Ozobo , a copy of which was obtained by The Liberator Newspaper on Saturday.
Ozobo said ”Our attention has been drawn to SPDC SHELL unsavory plan to deploy military personnel to Beniseide oil field in Bayelsa state currently occupied by aggrieved Ojobo Community protesters as to intimidate and kill them.”
”We want to state unequivocally that we will not accept any form of intimidation from SHELL and the Military against Ojobo Community protesters. Their protest is legitimate. Their demands are legitimate. We expect Shell to dialogue with the aggrieved protesters and not to intimidate them with military might.”
The IPDI boss added ”We make bold to state that any attempt to intimidate Ojobo Community with military will be vehemently resisted as such will cause more harvoc to the situation on ground.”
”It is a fact that Ojobo Community has been marginalized over the years, despite hosting SPDC, the people and the community remain underdeveloped. The Community’s demand for light, good schools, scholarship and development are legitimate.”
”The military option is not the solution to the ongoing protest in Beniseide oil field. No military threat can stop them (Ojobo Community) from making legitimate demands. It is their constitutional right to do so. Except, the demands of the protesters are meant we shall occupy the facility indefinitely. SHELL should quit our land and evacuate all their facilities if it is not ready to implement the demands of Ojobo Community.” He said.