Shell shuts flow stations in Delta, Bayelsa over threats from militants

Last Saturday’s electoral victory by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), may have started generating ethnic heat as some suspected militants may have forced oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to shut some of its flow stations in Delta and Bayelsa states.

Although SPDC denied the report, as its spokesmen  said the company would not comment on security issues, community sources told the Nation yesterday evening that militants had already warned the company through threat messages, adding that the new threat had everything to so with the failure of President Jonathan at the polls.

A source in one of the communities in Burutu council area of Delta state told the Nation that there were feelers that the oil company had commenced the shut down of its flow stations in response to the threat.

“From the reliable information that I have, militants have sent a warning to Shell to park up their operations in the area if they don’t want to be attacked and the reason is because President Jonathan has lost the election.

“So from what I have gathered, Shell has closed her flow station at Tunu, Benisede and Kussu. These flow stations are situated between Burutu local government area in Delta, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa state”, source said.

But the SPDC has denied the report indicating that it had shut down its flow stations as a result of threats from militants, saying it would not comment on security issues when asked if it ever received any threat to park up.

Company spokesperson, Joseph Obari, in a brief message to the Nation correspondent in Warri said “our operations are continuing and we will not comment on security issues”.

Tompolo, in a statement by his spokesman, Paul Bebenimibo yesterday in Warri appealed to youths in the region to desist from violence as only peace can bring about national development.

Tompolo’s statement reads: “I want to appeal to all our people to be orderly, calm and embrace peace. The will of the people is sacrosanct and the existing peace be maintained.

“I believe that nothing can happen if God does not approve of it. Peace is a prerequisite for national development. People should remain calm also during the governorship election”, he said.

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