A Shell company spokesman in Nigeria said yesterday it was working towards a peaceful end to an ultimatum for oil multinationals to leave Ijaw areas in the main southeastern oil region, Reuters reported. “We are in dialogue with their representatives. All parties are reasonable and we expect a peaceful end.” the spokesman said. Ethnic Ijaw groups scattered across Nigeria’s oil delta area issued a joint ultimatum early in December to oil firms to leave their land by 30 December or face unspecified action over alleged pollution of land and deprivation of oil wealth. However, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), an umbrella body for various Ijaw interest groups, dissociated itself on Tuesday from the ultimatum. It said in a statement that the decision to ask multinationals to leave was “never tabled before the highest decision-making body of the Ijaw nation”.
An upsurge of violence by armed militants, including sabotage and seizure of oil installations, has affected Nigeria’s oil output in recent months.
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