Itsekiri Nation Set to Shut Down Oil Companies Operation in Her Land
The Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil and Gas Producing Communities MDIOGPC in a peaceful protest held on the 4th of July 2020 at Ode Ugborodo, Warri South West LGA of Delta State has sent an urgent message of notice to President, Muhammadu Buhari of their readiness to shut down International Oil and Gas Companies operating in Itsekiri land if Mr. president refused to address the issue of outright marginalisation of the Itsekiri Nation in projects execution, employment opportunities and the recently announced fifty seven marginal fields offer which does not include son and daughters of the Itsekiri Nation neither did they gave the right of first refusal to us who are fundamental stakeholders as Oil and Gas Producing Communities.
The Group's protest letter which copied the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, DG, DSS ,Chevron Nigeria limited, SPDC, the Delta State Governor and the LGA Council Chairman was signed of by Isaac Botosan Chairman ,Steven Atete Secretary and Maurice lrone Publicity Secretary respectively.
Comrade Besidone Samuel Eyengho, the Spokesman of the Itsekiri Oil Producing Communities who red the protest letter during the press conference affirmed and asserted that the demands of the Itsekiri Nation are as follows;
" We are calling on the Federal Government to immediately halt the current process of bids for the 57 Marginal Fields and come up with new modalities, where competent companies owned by Itsekiri Sons and Daughters, would be given right of first refusal on fields in our homeland, before being thrown open to outsiders.
If competent companies owned by Itsekiri indigenes are not considered by DPR for the 57 Marginal Fields with immediate effect, we will shut-down operations of the Multi-National Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs) operating in our homelands.
The Federal Government should order immediate resumption of work at the Multi-Billion Dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, GRIP, Ogidigben and Deep Sea Port in Warri South- West Local Government Area, Delta State.
Direct the relevant MDAs/IOCs to embark on large scale shore protection/sand-filling projects in Itsekiri riverine/oil producing communities.
Institute process for the facilitation of the abandoned age-long Omadino - Escravos Road.
Oil machineries for commencement of the Koko/Ogheye Road Project, which has remained a mere campaign tool for successive administrations, despite its strategic importance to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta and the South-West.
We eagerly await speedy action on the aforementioned demands above, to avert fresh crisis in the Oil and Gas Industry and the Niger Delta", the statement read.
The Group acknowledged the realities of Coronavirus pandemic, saying" we are not oblivious of the damaging socio-economic effects COVID-19 is inflicting on the global economy, particularly our country that has continued to bear the brunt of the volatility of the price of Crude Oil (The Black Gold) at the International Market, despite efforts by OPEC and OPEC + to mitigate the resulting challenge".
Comrade Besidone Samuel Eyengho, the MDIOGPC Spokesman explained during the press conference that "as responsive and law abiding Ethnic Nationality committed to the sustainable peace, growth and development of the Nigerian project, we are equally not unmindful of the teething security challenges the Federal Government is confronting headlong across the country, especially in the North East. We are however constrained to ventilate our frustration and anger, regarding the brazen and worsening marginalization staring at our face on daily basis, by those in charge of managing affairs in the Oil and Gas Sector in this country. By this, we mean the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsid".