Clark demands that Shell clean up the Niger Delta before selling its assets and leaving the nation, threatening legal action.


Chief Edwin Clark, the leader of the Ijaw tribe, has urged the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to sell off its onshore facility assets and leave Nigeria after cleaning up its oil spills in the Niger Delta.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, Clark asked SPDC to clean up the region’s dirty environment before leaving Nigeria. The delegation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) was led by its National Vice President, Atigbi Freedom.

According to The Nation, the former National Commissioner declared that the people of the Niger Delta and the Ijaw nation could no longer put up with what he considered to be the exploitation by international oil companies, particularly SPDC.

He described the action of the oil giant as an injustice, adding that it was unfair and unacceptable to the people of the region.
Clark threatened that Niger Delta residents would explore all legal options to redress the situation.

He added: “I have a list of court issues containing 147 cases taken against Shell and some of the oil companies. More of them are coming. Enough is enough. We can no longer tolerate their exploitation.”

The Ijaw leader was responding to IYC’s announcement that Shell was planning to sell its assets in preparation to leaving the country, despite the effect of its oil spillage and the degradation of the Niger Delta environment with the attendant health hazards to the people.

Clark said: “These are my grandchildren. You know I am the leader of our people. I did not buy it; they made me. In March 1975 in Bomodi, the entire Ijaw – traditional leaders, politicians, ministers – gathered to honour me with the title of Izon Leader, a man who looks at the interest of the Ijaw people.

“Since then I have been a leader, I have not betrayed them. They came to me to report the new development. I agree with them that we will follow the issue in a legal way.”

IYC’s spokesperson, Ambassador Binabai Yerin Princewill, hinted that the Federal Government and SDPC were selling off their functional assets in Niger Delta.

“So, the IYC met and addressed the press, rejecting what they are planning to do. We are not in tandem with that until the Ijaw people are carried along.

“The Niger Delta people must be included in this process because our environment has been destroyed, damaged; our environment has been violated and abused for so many years.

“Shell is yet to even clean up our environment properly. Now, they are talking about selling off their assets. Most of these assets are in Ijaw land. Now, they have not done the clean-up and they want to sell the assets to other people without recourse to the Niger Delta indigenes, the Ijaw people whose lands these facilities are located,” he said.

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