Alleged Marginalisation: Group Threatens to Shut Oil Firms in Delta

Sylvester Idowu

An Isoko group, the United Coalition Front Emancipation Movement (UCFEM) has given a 14-day ultimatum to oil companies in Isoko land in Delta State to peacefully shut down operations over alleged marginalisation of their host communities.

At the end of the ultimatum, the group threatened to mobilise “fathers, mothers and youths” of the area to forcefully shut down operations of the affected companies.

A statement signed by the UCFEM Spokesman, Mr. Ogbu Ogbu, and made available to newsmen in Warri yesterday said: “If the oil companies fail to address the issue of marginalisation of our people, we will be forced to launch coordinated attacks on their installations in Isoko land.”

The group disclosed that parts of their demands were engagement of Isoko youths into the onshore and offshore platforms of the oil companies; promotion of the very few Isoko sons and daughters working with them into management positions as well as intensive training of the people on various skills acquisition programmes.

“We want the operators of OML 61, 30, 26 and 28 to peacefully shut down operations in Isoko land while our grievances are attended to in a round table discussion.

“The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Heritage Energy, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and First Hydro should peacefully shut down their operations in Isoko land and comply with our demands.

“Oil and gas multinationals and NNPC operating in Isoko land should heed to our warning and advice for a peaceful shutdown of operations till further notice,” it warned.

The UCFEM said it should not be blamed for any action taken for the protection of their existence as a people and defence of Isoko land.

“To this end, a 14-day ultimatum has been issued against the oil companies to comply with the peaceful shutdown of oil and gas operations in Isoko land and the ultimatum comes into effect from April 11 till April 24, 2022,” it said.

The Community Relations Officer of Heritage Energy, who simply identified himself as Mr. Williams, said that he was not allowed to speak on issues like this.

“We are not allowed to discuss issues like this with the press. We have our media consultant based in Lagos State who handles issues like this”, he said.

He promised to get back with the contact of the consultant but never did.

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