Community recognised as Shell host-com


By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

Bayelsa State has approved the Ayakiri community in Gbarain clan of Yenagoa Local Government Area as a host to the operations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

The community, according to the December 16, 2020 approval, was separated from Ogboloma community of the same Gbarain clan.

A statement by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Development Thomson Amule, and Permanent Secretary Adeh Ebiere, said ‘Ayakiri, which is formerly known as Igbenbiri compound, will now be a recognised host community of the SPDC with its abundant oil and gas resources for exploration after 50 years of non-recognition’.

A former Chief Medical Director of the Bayelsa State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Benjamin Tabowei, who confirmed this during a community peace and thanksgiving forum, said the approval would bring more peace and development to the area.

Chairman of the Organising Committee Bruce Buba said Ayakiri traditionally comprises Igbenbiri, Onunu, Waripamo, Makurai, Egbuke and Timizi families, as direct descendants of Ogboloma community in Gbarain kingdom, during the slave trade era.

He, however, said there was historical controversy over status, which was further broken by a comment that Ogboloma only has four compounds, excluding Igbenbiri.

According to him, the comment led them to approach the government for registration and recognition. They were duly recognised and the process to gazette the approval within the first quarter of the year is ongoing.

Acting Paramount Ruler Chief Emmanuel Onunu called for unity among indigenes of the newly-approved community and its neighbours. He prayed God to help the four-month-old community achieve its desired goals and development.


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