N500m Shell donation divides community
Members of the Oloma community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State are quarrelling over a N500 million donation by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to the community fund.
The Nation learnt that youths, women and groups are preparing for a showdown with the leadership of the Oloma Council of Elders over the alleged misappropriation of the money from the oil giant.
The Secretary-General of Oloma community, Warisenibo Gabriel Godwin, has written to the SPDC management, accusing the Chairman of Oloma Council of Elders, Sir Amarigha Edward Hart, of misappropriating hundreds of millions of naira.
Godwin, who is also the secretary of the Project Community Trust (P-CT), also accused Hart of assuming the status of “a demi-god” in the community, acting with impunity and threatening the running of the community’s organisation.
In the letter, he called for SPDCs intervention to avert the breach of peace in the community.
Decrying Hart’s leadership style, the secretary said as an oil bearing community, SPDC pays certain funds as part of its Global Project memorandum of understanding.
He said details of such payments are not only kept secret to members, but are also kept away from him.
Godwin said SPDC deals with Hart alone, through one of its workers (name withheld), thereby ignoring the statutes of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU), reached between the Oloma community and the oil giant (SPDC).
One of the aides to Hart denied the allegation, saying: “We will speak when the time is ripe. But take it from me that Oloma community is calm and peaceful as we speak.”