Against the wide held view that youths of the Niger Delta are the arrow head of pipeline vandalism in the region, Chairman of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Timothy Suanu Bari Dam, has revealed that the contractors of Shell are the mastermind behind the massive destruction of pipelines in the devastated region.
Chief Bari Dam told NAIJ.com in Port Harcourt that he had personally confronted Shell in a recent meeting with company officials where he told them that contractors working for the oil firm and their close allies are the evil workers destroying the pipelines but leveling blame on youths of the Niger Delta.
He said “I was in a stakeholders meeting with Shell and I told them that many of the pipeline vandalisation that is going on in Ogoni land is caused by them and their contractors. Those contracts are given to crooks, they pay money to some people and they allow the destructions go unhindered.
“Basically, the destruction that is going on is caused by Shell. They cannot say they are not the cause because nobody knows the pipeline that carries crude, it is only Shell officials that know. Their contractors know them.
“So, once there is destruction, they bring contractors who will now do the work. I must say that they have not helped matters and the last meeting we had with them, we told them to turn a new leaf”.
He told our correspondent that the allegation against youths of the region was false, noting that Shell knew the people breaking their pipes and that the pipes are broken so as for their contractors to have work to do and make money.
“The allegation that our youths are the ones breaking the pipes is not true. That is what I’m telling you now. It’s the contractors of Shell that break the pipes. It is not done by the Ogoni people.
“They supervise the breaking of the pipes because that is where they are getting their money from. If the breaking of pipe stops their contract will stop. So, it is not the Ogoni people, rather it is the contractors who are working with Shell”.