Oil and gas production, may be crippled soon, if the Federal Government continues to ignore the demands of host areas, for inclusion in the bidding process for the 57 marginal oil fields in the Niger Delta.
The latest threat is coming from the Urhobo ethnic nationality in Delta state, under the auspices of the Campaign for the Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN).
The group in a media conference held yesterday in Warri, vowed to shutdown oil and gas activities in their areas in a week’s time, if the Federal Government refuses to heed to their cries for “fairness and justice”.
Speaking, president of CATESUN, Olorogun Ese Kakor, noted that the Urhobo people had in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, given a 14-day ultimatum for a fresh process of ceding out the 57 marginal oil fields, failure of which “will be met with an equally stiff resistance”.
Kakor emphasized that a new process will give competent Urhobo men and women the opportunity to participate in oil and gas activities fairly, having “endured injustice, since the discovery of crude oil in their lands.
Urhobo nation is host to several oil and gas facilities, including the multi billion dollar Utorogu Gas Plant, reportedly the biggest in Africa.
Kakor stated, “CATESUN is using this medium to repeat the call to President Muhammadu Buhari to call his officers in the oil and gas industry to order because they are the architects of this potentially combustive situation, which has the capacity to set the entire Niger Delta on fire again.
“Mr. President, the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Director General of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), are at the verge of jeopardizing your sweat over the Niger Delta through this illegal back door ceding of the 57 marginal fields, excluding Urhobo people from the process.
“If by July 20, 2020, this unjust, inhuman and definitely satanic process of giving the 57 marginal fields out, with the exclusion of Ur hobo people is not terminated, the Ur hobo nation will take the definite action of shutting down all oil and gas operations going on within her territories. This is not an empty threw, but a clear national action plan, ready for execution. Enough is enough!”
On his part, Chief Emmanuel Shobor, national leader of Niger Delta Initiative for Actualization of Peace and Development, lamented that despite contributing largely to the national purse, Urhobo people continue to be schemed out from participating in oil exploration, through one means or the other.
“We have the oil resources, we have the gas. If they will not listen to us that means they are not ready to expire our oil again. We are going to shutdown everything. If the sweep our agitation under the carpet, from July 20, they will he’s from us,” Shobor warned.
Woman leader of the group, Comrade Betty Onakpoma, said Urhobo women have been at the brunt of the “unjust treatment”, adding, “our cassava don’t yield well anymore. Before our brothers and husbands go fishing and return with many yields. It is no longer than case.
“We have capable men to handle these jobs, we are appealing to the President to listen. If they don’t listen it (shutdown) will happen”.
Some personalities present at the conference are Olorogun Victor Ohare, Morris Idiovwa among others.
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