THE strength of unity of purpose would soon be tested as the Ijaws of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Council and the Itsekiri nations in the 3 Warri Counil Areas, both of Delta State comes out in one accord to press home their irreducible project demands from the Federal Government for the continued survival of their people and land that lays the proverbial golden egg for Nigeria or they would be constrained to shut down the operations of all the oil and gas companies in their homeland shortly.
Both ethnic nationalities who now regrettably realize that their continued division and unwarranted hostile relationship has been their most undoing, had in the past few weeks be engaging the Federal Government and all relevant authorities and also put the World on notice about the alleged deliberate neglect, marginalization, oppression, suppression and exploitation on the need to address their plight in the Nigeria project.
But the Federal Government appears not to be giving listening ears to their cries or viciously ignoring their peaceful disposition to the salient life threatening issues being raised for appropriate and proactive action according to them, thus compelling them to set in motion processes that are capable of inflicting collateral damages to the very foundation of the nation’s economy because they are fed up with their pathetic and miserable situation in their coastal but well-endowed oil and gas rich communities where other Nigerians benefits enormously while they die in poverty and penury in the mist of abundance.
Truly, it is the revenue derived from the oil and gas resources from their homeland that makes Delta one of the richest State in Nigeria. According to a source, only the Itsekiri areas alone contributes about 28 percent of the Nation’s crude that oils the wheel of the economy and if that of the Ijaws are added then one can only imagine their pains and anguish in being neglected, oppressed, subjugated and exploited by successive government for over 60years counting.
To make matter worse, NNPC and its subsidiaries, Chevron Nigeria Limited, SPDC and others who operates on their land secretly conduct employment without recourse to the host communities with eminently qualified graduates and technicians.
It is against these background the Ijaws and Itsekiri decide to sink their differences to frontally confront their common foes viz: Federal Government and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to draw attention to their pitiable plight and aspirations as endangered species and promises to push through their quest to get what’s theirs with all their might.
In a joint communique issued at a press conference held in Warri by the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs and The Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities on Sunday, 12 July 2020 and signed by Chief Godspower Gbenekama, the Fiyewei of Gbaramatu kingdom and Chief Mike Odeli, the Olorogun of Warri kingdom they made an 9-point demand which include the following:
1. The immediate resumption of works by the Federal Government at the abandoned multi-Billion Dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, GRIP and the Deep Sea Port in Warri South-West Local Government Council Area of Delta State,
2. Immediate halt of the current process of bids for the 57 Marginal Fields whereby the doctrine of necessity should be invoked and applied to incorporate the interest of competent companies owned by Gbaramatu and Itsekiri indigenes who should be given the “right of first refusal” before being thrown open to outsiders,
3. That the Federal Government should direct the relevant MDAs/IOCs to embark on large-scale shore protection/sand filling projects in both Gbaramatu kingdom and Itsekiri oil/gas producing communities,
4. That the Federal Government should initiate process for the facilitation of the abandoned age-long Omadino-Escravos and Koko/Ogheye Roads projects,
5. That the Federal Government should order the immediate
By Emma Arubi