Niger Delta: Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Communities/Victims Demand $3.6bn Compensatiion
The Concerned Bonga Oil Spill lmpacted Communities and Victims of the illfated December 20, 2011 Oil Spill incident in the troubled Niger Delta region, last Thursday, issued a 14 Days Ultimatum to Shell Nigeria Exploration And Production Company (SNEPCO) with a demand notice for the Oil giant to pay $3,600,191,206.00 billion as compensation/damages or else things will go haywire.
The Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities (CBOSIC) in a tersely worded letter dated 20th May 2023, addressed to the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration And Production Company (SNEPCO) and signed by Comrade Mike J K Tiemo and Comrade Gbigbi Nelson Andrew as Chairman and Secretary respectively, made available to newsmen, stated that there is no going back on their ultimatum because Shell has refused to live up to its responsibility 11 years after the Bonga Oil Spill incident occurred.
The Bonga Oil Spill Victims posited that the Shell group has been a curse for decades to the environment and people of the Niger Delta from Ogoni to Escravos , Forcados and Bayelsa, they affirmed that the story has been the same tales of woe in oil exploration without a human face.
Speaking furher ,the aggrieved Oil Spill Victims added with emphasis that, the Shell group are indeed the most detestable amongst the IOC’s in Nigeria and they represents the weakest link in terms of inability to mentain a robust relationdhip with their host communities.
The Concerned Communities/ Victims which further faulted the Shell group for their nonchallant attitude towards doing nothing to amiliorate their pains and agony of the people said they are ready to take their destinies into their hands since the managenent of SNEPCO has decided to close their ears to the voice of reasoning like a vex adder to their predicaments .
The CBOSIC letter of demand notice which copied, the Chief Executive,
Nigeria Updtream Petroleum Regulatory Commission,( NUPRC), the Director, DSS Bayelsa State Command, the Commander, Operation Delta State,(OPDS), the Fleet Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command ,Yenagoa, and others to place them on red alert about the looming danger as a result of Shell industrial rascallity reads in part:
“We the Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities affirm that , irrespective of the fact that we are aware that some impacted communities and victims are in Court, we do not believe in towing the path of litigation with the Shell Group because, we have carefully examined the situation and resolved that we are satisfied with the recommentions and santions slamed on Shell by the Petroleum Regulatory Authorities in Nigeria.”
The highly aggrieved Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities stated in the details of their demands as follows:
“We are aware and we Completely allign with the position of the National Oil Spill Detection Regulatory Agency (NOSDRA), an Agency established by the FG and empowered by laws governing the Federal Republic of Nigeria which in her official Bonga Oil Spill report dated December 2014, Notification of Sactions, after carrying out a thorough investigation came up with a recommention and a resolution as the
Agency of Government charged with respinsibility and mandate that the Victims and Communities of the Bonga Oil Spill should be paid $3,600,191,206.00 Billion “
They continued in their demand notice saying that: “We assert in bold
terms that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA ) the apex Maritime Regulatory Body relating to Safety, Security and the Protection of the Nation’s Marine Environment after their own humble environmental impact assessment of the collossal effect of the damage done by the Bonga Oil Spill recommended a santion/compensatiion of $ 6:5 Billion against the Shell Group the operator of the Bonga Oil facility,.”
The statement further remarked that: “standing on the strength of the NIMASA humble position which actually spoke onbehalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria , we the Concerned Bonga Oil Spill lmpacted Communities demand that Shell should pay the $3.6 Billion Dollars approved by NOSDRA Within the 14 Days Ultimatum or we will be constrained to close down their facilities Within our dormains and vicinities using every available means within the ambit of the law.
The Group also stated in their demand notice that the Britannia Steamship insurance Policy Number 04929000 on MT Nothia lMO Number 6009480 and a Clandestine Shell Group FUGRO Finger Printing Report Number 336194 all supports the claims that Shell is culpable and guilty as Charged hence they have no moral justification to deny the Spill victims adequate compensation.
The Bonga Oil Spill lmpacted Communities which further described the demand notice as unavoidable said:
“There is an Affirmation by two United Kingdom High Court Judges, Hon Justice Shuan , Hon Justice O’Farrel and the Uk Supreme Court which held that the Oil Spill from Bonga FPSO reached and impacted negatively on
the communities of Bayelsa and Delta states within weeks after 20th December 2011 when the spill occured.”
Shedding more light on the atrocities of Shell in the Niger Delta region, the Oil Spill victims lamented saying: “We the Concerned Bonga On Spill victims have also realized how vicious the Shell Group has been to us, in devastating and polluting our environment over several decades , with impunity while hiding under needless and endless ligation to delibrately frustrate and impoverish our communities to avoid liability.”
While stressing the necessity of the intended drastic action on Shell for their insensitivity to the plight of the Spill Victims, the statement declared:
“We are taking our destiny in our own hands, on that premise, we hereby reiterate unequivocally that the Shell Group should pay the $3,600,191,206.00 as damages/ Compensatiion to us the Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities as santtioned by NOSDRA within two weeks of this publucation.”
The Concerned Bonga Oil Spill lmpacted Communities reminded
the Oil giant saying: “We stressed that there is an urgent need for Shell to move swiftly to the Bonga field and all the impacted Communities to carry out a remediation services in the area to restore our devastated environment
and polluted Communities which are suffering unquantifiable hardship and agony.
The statement further declared: “Failure for Shell to comply to our germane demands backed by NOSDRA and NIMASA within the 14 Days of the publication of this Ultimatum, we shall be left with no alternative but to shut down Shell operations in our territory and dormains.”
In summation they asserted: “We also wish to make it abundantly clear, that two weeks after this press release, today being 25th May 2023 ,we shall no longer allow
Shell to operate with impunity in ourterritories, because for us it is time up for SNEPCO, no more business as usual, because from the inactions of Shell by failing to comply up to this time, 11 years after Bonga Spill, the hand writing is clear on the wall that the battle line is drawn and we are ready to take our destinies into our hands, the statement concluded. “