Saturday, March 07, 2015

Communities poses fresh threat to Delta EPZ groundbreaking

THERE was a new threat to the ground-breaking of the $16bn Delta Gas City project in Delta State, yesterday, as the Sokebolou/Yokri communities in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of the state, rejected the agreement brokered between Ijaw and Itsekiri nationalities by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on Wednesday in Asaba.
The Sokebolou/Yokri People’s Congress in a statement by its chairman, Comrade Bob Towei, said, “We are calling on the Federal Government to call Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to order by reconvening a meeting with all stakeholders, including the Ogulagha kingdom before the proposed ground-breaking or he will be blamed for whatever actions that would be carried out by the Ogulagha people.”

In the same vein, Chief Williams Igere,the Bolou-wei of Ogulagha kingdom, said the purported resolution by the Itsekiris of Ugborodo and Gbaramatu on the new naming of the EPZ project was null and void.
He said the Ogulagha in Burutu Local Government has 50% of the land hosting the EPZ project and wondered why President Jonathan, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and NNPC never considered the Ogulagha before taking decision on the renaming of the project.
Igere, warned that the people of Ogulagha shall disrupt the operations of Chevron, SPDC, Agip and Britiani-U in the area should the Federal Government and NNPC refuse to acknowledge them as host to the project.
The Sokebolou/Yokri People’s Congress also said, “We the people of Sokebolou/Yokri communities in Ogulagha kingdom, Burutu local government area, the rightful owners of Adedegbene, Agbogoroma-gbene, Ologoseimor-ere, etc, hereby inform the Federal Government, NNPC, state government, that whatever rift that was settled was between the Itsekiri and the Gbaramatu—Ijaws, as we were not part of that settlement because we were not invited to the meeting as ordered by the president to invite all parties for settlement.”
“Mr. President Goodluck Jonathan, we want to categorically state that the directive you gave at Asaba when you visited was not followed by the state government, hence only Itsekiri and the Gbaramatu -Ijaws were invited because the state government is bias, believing that the Ogulagha man is a peace- loving man, but mind you Mr. Governor, when a dog sees her death, it fights back no matter how friendly it is,” it added.
Its words, “We, the people of Ogulagha kingdom are promising the state government and all those that are perpetrating this wicked act to cause crisis that they would witness a lazy man beat a strong man this time because enough is enough.”
At a tripartite meeting involving Ijaw, Itsekiri delegations and NNPC, led by chairman of Ogidigben Export Processing Zone, EPZ Committee, Mr. Austin Oboroegbeyi, Ijaw leader, Chief Godspower Gbenekame and Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Mr. David Ige respectively, presided over by Governor Uduaghan, the communities reached an understanding on the groundbreaking and called on the president to fix a date to perform the ceremony.
Part of the agreement read to journalists was that the Gas City would be named after Ogidigben, an Itsekiri community, while the second component of the project, Deep Sea Port, Gbaramatu. But the Ogulagha-Ijaw, who claim to be stakeholders said they were not invited to the meetin

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