The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has threatened to shut down operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), over its alleged contravention of Local Content Act pertaining to the appointment of expatriates.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by MEND’s spokesperson, Gbomo Jommo, on Thursday.
The statement said MEND’s attention had been drawn to the alleged nefarious activities of the SPDC which is intended to instigate fresh crises in the Niger Delta and the nation at large.
It said their angst bordered on the alleged violation of the Nigerian Content Development Act 2010 and the politics of selective implementation as demonstrated by the SPDC.
The militant group accused the SPDC of disrespectfully engaging and retaining the services of expatriates in strategic positions that should be held by qualified local content personnel.
The statement read in part: “For the avoidance of doubt, we like to point out a clear example of such disrespect for the Act – the appointment and retention of a certain Mr. De Meyer Thierry as Manager of Well Engineering.
MEND added that: “At a time like this when all hands are on deck to ensure peace in the energy vault and economic hub of the nation, Shell is conversely setting the stage to turn the hands of the clock to the dark old days of total unrest.
“May we here state that we will not beg the SPDC to do the right thing. We will never, never do that. We are by this letter giving Shell a marching ultimatum to immediately replace De Meyer Thierry with a Niger Deltan in line with the Local Content Act, or face a total dismantling of its operations, including the generality of oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta.
“The SPDC is hereby advised to look within its rank and file, of which we are sure there are eminently qualified Niger Deltan prople to occupy that office as provided by law. We urge them to forthwith put an end to their white supremacist tendency in the interest of peace.
The group further called on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Group Managing Director of NNPC and all other concerned agencies to use their good offices to save the economy and the nation from the imminent crisis that the SPDC intended to bring upon the people.”