Community Youths Petition EFCC over NGO’s Alleged Threat, Extortion of Oil Companies

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Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A group, Concerned Iwhrekan Youths have petitioned the anti graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over activities of Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC), a Non Governmental body that allegedly interface between the people of Iwhrekan in Ughelli South Local Government area of Delta State and multi-national oil companies.

The group alleged threat and extortion of money from SPDC, NPDC and ND Western, all oil companies operating in Iwhrekan community by operatives of the NGO.

In a petition dated February 12 written by Concerned Iwhrekan Youths and signed on their behalf by one Akpobome Orotoma, the group alleged that the NGO and its Coordinator, Mr. Zik Gbemre, threatens the continuous peaceful operations of the oil companies in their community.

According to copies of the petition sited in Warri, the concerned Iwhrekan youths alleged that the NGO, under the watch of its Coordinator, Mr. Zik Gbemre, has always been in the habit of using some community youth’s names to obtain money from the oil companies for surveillance on pipelines which doesn’t get to them.

“The said monies are, most often, not remitted to the youths whose names appeared on the invoices submitted for the release of the fund by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), NPDC and ND Western.

“This situation, which has been going on for some time now is now causing serious tension amongst community youths. If urgent steps are not taking, it might snowball into violence and threaten the multi-billion naira Utorogun Gas plant and trunklines.

“We implore the President, the Vice President, the Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives to immediately direct the Chairman, EFCC to investigate these allegations against the Niger Delta Peace Coalition under Zik Gbemre and save the national assets in our community.

“We can no longer fold our arms and allow an NGO be used to collect what rightly belongs to the community for personal gains. Our youths are becoming restless every day, so the President should act fast”, it added.

The petition was also copied to the Vice President; the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives; the Minister of State, Petroleum, the National Security Adviser; Inspector-General of Police; Director-General, State Security Service; Director-General, NSCDC and Delta State Governor.

Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, Mr. Zik Gbemre dismissed the petition alleging that the signatory to the petition was not from the community.