…threaten attack on oil facility over alleged govt imposition of community leaders
…They are miscreants that should be dealt with -Eyengho
WARRI – THE relative peace in volatile Ugborodo community, Warri South West council area, Delta state has again been compromised as some agitated indigenes besieged the grounds of nearby Escravos operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), threatening to attack the facility.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the seeming transferred aggression by the oil host community towards Chevron which saw the protesters setting burn fire around her facility yesterday is being fueled by alleged imposition of communal leadership on Ugborodo by the Delta state government.
A youth leader in Ugborodo, Temi Eyoyibo stated that the Ugborodo people were compelled to embark on the warning protest when information filtered in that the Delta state government had mandated Austin Oborogbeyi to head an Interim Management Committee to lead affairs of the community and its interest in Chevron
Alex Eyengho, a member of the said Oborogbeyi-led committee, in swift response on the building turmoil described the protesters as miscreants out to ferment with no justification, asking government and security agencies to deal decisively with them.
Prior to this development, Oborogbeyi has headed the federal government constituted Ugborodo Export Processing Zone, EPZ, Interface Committee, a child of circumstance created to lead the community’s affairs in the wake of the lingering leader crisis which intensified at the proposal of $16 EPZ project in the area.
Eyoyibo on the motivation for the protest stated, “We made it clear from onset that it is not the place of government to elect community leaders. We put in place our management committee, Chevron said they will not work with Emma Meke administration without government approval.”
“Ugborodo people will not allow Governor Okowa to impose Austin Oboroegbeyi on us for his interest. Is it only Ugborodo community that is in Delta state and how many local communities has Delta state government set-up their local community executives?
“Austin Oboroegbeyi is a son of the soil but we are not running a PDP government in Ugborodo community. Imposition will not work. Delta state government must allows the people to lead their affairs by themselves as it used to be for the past fifty-five years.
“Chevron has failed, there’s no state government presence in Ugborodo community, water is submerging the entire community from left and right and all Okowa does is to impose his political boys on Ugborodo. He should settle them with an appointment under his government, and not Ugborodo.
“This same set of people the state government is trying to impose were in power in Ugborodo for more than nineteen years with nothing to show for their stewardship like the PDPs in Delta state. Delta state government shouldn’t hide under Ugborodo community to hijack a federal government owned or sponsored project in the Niger Delta region.
Eyengho in his response said, “Whatever they (protesters) are doing there is isolated, just some jokers who believe they can just take laws into their hands. You are aware of the efforts Okowa has put into this to resolve the matter; either to expand the EPZ Committee, which was rejected. In short, Okowa intervened and as we speak today that issue has been resolved, dead and buried.
“An expanded committee has been constituted and that’s the Ugborodo Management Committee, with a year tenure, in the first instance. The letter to this effect has been issued, the Egharaja of Ugborodo was copied, the Olu of Warri was copied, the Olaja-Orori was copied. In fact, the tenure has started, with five clear mandates.
“There’s absolutely no problem, the communities agreed we must move forward. This is not the first time a state government, right from military administrations, anytime there’s problem government, comes in, resolves it. During one military administration, government appointed a sole administrator for the community who was not even from the community. It is the responsibility of the governor to ensure peace, he is the chief security officer of the state.
“The government has done the needful and all the critical stakeholders in the community have accepted and we have started work. That’s the position so we are not distracted by the activities of these miscreants, we have hit the ground running. It’s now left for the government, the security agencies to deal decisively with miscreants who want to take the laws into their hands.”
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