I wish to use this medium to address the Rumuekpe Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) committee, which was nominated on the 19th of June, 2012 at Emolga Secretariat. Rumuekpe community is one of the agrarian communities in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State whose natural resources, if guided with wisdom is enough to take care of her issues.
Rumuekpe is the main artery of Shell's Eastern operations in Rivers state, with around-about 100,000 barrels of oil flowing per day, approximately10% of Shell's daily production in the country but the absence of GMoUs led the community astray.
The inter-communal violence killed an estimated 1,000,000 people, including children and adult, from 2005-09. Thousands more are still displaced by fighting that left homes, schools and churches in ruins. Many still suffer severe malnutrition, poverty and homelessness.
The GMoUs or agreements represent an important shift in approach, placing emphasis on more transparent and accountable processes, regular communication with the grassroots, sustainability and conflict prevention. Under the terms of the GMoUs, the communities decide the development they want while the company on behalf of its joint venture partners provides secure funding for five years, ensuring that the communities have stable and reliable finances as they undertake the implementation of their community development plans.
Having seen the effect of the crises and the importance of GMoU, the following should serve as a guide to the committee members:
I pray that as you champion the course of building this community, the Almighty God will keep you healthy. Amen