THE Niger Delta Diaspora Professionals Forum (NDPF) has decided to wade into the ongoing controversy and threats that the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) may be relocating their headquarters out of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, admitting that it would grow insecurity.
The Interim Secretary of the group, Dr. Godknows Fubara, who dropped the hint from U.K via a statement on Thursday, following their quarterly meeting to review developments in the region, frowned at the news that the oil company is making such a decision due to the rising insecurity in the state and the high handedness of the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike.
According to Fubara: “We read a disturbing information on page 67 of the State’s Report published this year by a Lagos based non-governmental organisation Budgit. The report which was launched on the 19th of October at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, stated clearly that SHELL is threatening to withdrawn again from our state.
“We are not surprised but the Board of NDPF have decided to intervene. We know the implication of such an action on unemployment in the state. The worsening insecurity in Rivers State is of great concern to us. The internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has dropped drastically and state is heavily indebted”.
He however expressed fear that if SHELL relocates the economic indices will be badly affect and by implication, will worsen insecurity.
“News coming from the state point to the fact that most of the gains of the former administration have been lost due the actions of political actors in the state. Recently gun men suspected to be members of a notorious cult group have been on rampage attaching police officers in the state.
“This development has led to an alleged issue of a quit notice to Special Anti-robbery team (SARS) in the state. Analysts are worried about what has been described as the politicisation of security in the state by the Chief Security Officer in the State, Governor Nyesom Wike”, Fubara said.
He also maintained that many concerned residents of the state are claiming that the state governor, who was voted in to protect lives and property, is now at loggerheads with security agencies who are fighting crime, thereby further endangering lives and properties of citizens.
Fubara explained further that since the begging of the year, more than five persons have been beheaded and burnt by unknown gun men. Adding: “a former member of House of Representatives who pleaded anonymity wondered how can a sitting governor be working to frustrate the work of the police. Rivers people are now leaving in fear.
According to him, it has become urgent for President Buhari to place Rivers State under watch
He recalled that the Dutch oil company relocated back into Port Harcourt during the Amaechi administration in 2009 because of what was described by one senior Shell official as ‘availability of the right facilities and conducive environment’.
He said since the beginning of the year, the security situation in the state has continued to deteriorate.
The delegation from the Diaspora Group will be expected back into Nigeria where they will be meeting with relevant stakeholders including the senior management of SHELL, relevant committees in the National Assembly and Rivers State Government.