Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Indigenes of Ugborodo Community in Warri South-west Local Government Area, have called on the federal government to intervene in their ongoing face-off with Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to avert a looming crisis, insisting that their demands are beyond Delta State Government.
The people of the oil rich Itsekiri community had laid siege on the Chevron tank farm since May 5, thereby threatening the operations of the company.
Chairman of Ugborodo Community Management Committee (UCMC) Mr. Austin Oboroegbeyi, explained that their decision to sustain the protest against Chevron, despite the intervention of Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, was because, “CNL and other IOCs didn’t abide by agreements entered into with them previously, hence we want the relevant federal government agencies in the oil and gas sector to be involved, in order for any agreement to be reached that will be binding on both parties.”
According to him, Ugborodo demands that require immediate attention included employment of their indigenes; award of more contracts; supply/review of maintenance project; provision of portable drinking water; provision of standby electricity; increase in scholarship slots /better funding as well as road map to other social amenities.
He also called for the removal of NNPC/NAPIMS bottleneck in order for Ugborodo Indigenes to be awarded capital intensive contracts; engagement in the ongoing EGTL Turnaround Maintenance Projects; supply of logistics, which CNL uses to operate in their facilities and shore line protection of Ugborodo Community.
The UCMC Chairman, described the establishment of Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC) as, “a fraud used to deceive Ugborodo people by CNL, because CNL don’t fund it adequately.”
According to him, IRDC gets N400 million yearly, which when shared between the 23 Itsekiri communities, amounts to less than N3.6million annually to each of the community.
Secretary of Ugborodo Community Management Committee, Dr. Ayo Ayomike said CNL exploration activities had adversely affected Ugborodo Community resulting in Ocean Surge, which he said had wiped away large section of their land.
Ayomike, said the people of Ugborodo would prefer a separate Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) with Chevron, as against the existing Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) which presently covers 23 Itsekiri Oil and Gas bearing communities.