PIA: Delta Community Vows to Resist Non-inclusion

*Issues IOCs, NUPRC 30-day ultimatum

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Indigenes of Ugborodo Federated Communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have vowed to resist moves by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and all international oil companies (IOCs) operating in its domain to scheme out the oil-rich Ugborodo from the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIA).

The communities comprising mainly Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho and Ijaghala, among other adjoining communities, gave the warning over the weekend, during an enlarged stakeholders’ meeting held at the Ode-Ugborodo town hall.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting convened by the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, Eghare Daniel Uwawah, one of the leaders, Mr. Alex Eyengho, said the communities resolved, amongst others, to issue a 30-day ultimatum to Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), others settlors and NUPRC to give recognition to Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT) as the adopted trust by the people for the implementation of the PIA.

He said Ugborodo indigenes resolved to take their destiny in their hands, but within the ambit of the law should the relevant bodies fail to do the needful after the expiration of the ultimatum.
On the implementation of the PIA, Eyengho disclosed that it was unanimously reaffirmed that the earlier chosen name of Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere HCDT), remains the name the adopted name by Ugborodo Community for the implementation of the Act.

“That Ugborodo Community remains steadfast on the insistence that the extant laws of the PIA and the accompanying Regulations of the NUPRC must be followed religiously in the implementation of the PIA, particularly as it concerns the constitution of members of the Trustees, Management Committee and Advisory Committee.

“That Ugborodo Community and the NUPRC are on the same page on the all-important issue of adherence to the relevant laws and regulations guiding the implementation of the PIA in all ramifications, and this much has been made known by the NUPRC to the settlors (Chevron, Shell and other international oil companies, IOCs) operating in Ugborodoland.

“The interventions of the Delta State Government in the lingering issue concerning the implementation of the PIA in the Ugborodo Community have been only to the extent of advocating for peace in the area and further advising the Ugborodo Community to settle her internal problems,” he said.
Eyengho, stated that Ugborodo Community maintained her earlier position already in the public domain that it was not in any way whatsoever going against the Olu of Warri, the Palace, and/or the other Itsekiri communities adding

“All the Ugborodo Community has said and still maintained until tomorrow is that the extant laws must be followed religiously in the implementation of the PIA, particularly in Ugborodoland. As a host community, Ugborodo Community is big enough to have its own separate HCDT without prejudice to other host communities in Itsekiriland who may want to be lumped together under one HCDT.

“To this end, and for the purposes of emphasis, the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT), has since been adopted by the good people of Ugborodo Community. This is our irreducible position on the issue of the implementation of PIA in the Ugborodo Community,” he maintained.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, an indigene of the community, emphasised that Ugborodo people were not against the Olu of Warri hence nobody should use politics of kingship to affect the implementation of the PIA.

 “All Tank Farms have their PIAs. The Trust would be briefing the king; it is about the kingdom moving on a progressive path. Stakeholders, Community representatives, Chevron Nigeria Limited and government, will look at the needs assessment. IRDC (Itsekiri Regional Development Committee) wasn’t a law, it was Chevron Nigeria Limited’s policy.

“The Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere) will replace Ugborodo Community Trust. The Eghare-Aja has consulted widely, PIA is a law. We won’t say because of Igbene (internal dispute) we won’t inaugurate the trust (Ikpere Host Community Development Trust). We will settle the Igbene. You should back the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust, later we will fix Igbene. The law says three per cent of the operational cost, is for the host communities,” he said.

A former Executive Director of Projects in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuoyo Omatsuli; National Youth Chairman of Ugborodo Community, Mr. Andrew Igban; Winson Ejeh as well as the Ugborodo community woman leader identified simply as Oritsematosan, were among notable indigenes of Ugborodo that addressed the large gathering in the presence of Eghare Daniel Uwawah.

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