Says FG must listen to Iduwini Kingdom, other oil producing kingdoms in the Niger Delta
By Ndu Samuel, Asaba
Barely a month that indigenes of Gbaramatu kindom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State gave the federal ultimatum to give consideration to it’s indigenes in the re-allocation of the maginal oil field or face the consequences of shutting down oil facilities in their territory, Iduwini youths have thrown their weight behind the move.
The youths, under the umbrella body of Iduwini Kingdom Youth Leadership Forum issued what it called affirmatory and solidarity communique signed by Comrade Akin Edisemi Disi who is also the President, Odimodi Youth Movement, a copy of which was made available to The Liberator Newspaper at the weekend.
Disi said Iduwini youths are solidly behind the ultimatum issued by the Itsekiris, Gbaramatu and also align itself with the threat to shut down oil and gas operations in protest of the continued marginalisation against the various communities by both the Federal Government and the multinational oil companies.
The communique, which contained replica of the Gbaramatu-Itsekiri 12 point demands as it affects Iduwini kindom also disclosed their readiness to join the massive disruption of oil production if the Iduwini People are not carried along in the ongoing reallocation of marginal oil fields amongst other cogent demands.
Disi explained that the federal government has no reason to maginalize a kingdom that plays host to many pipelines, manifolds, co-host to the Forcados Terminal, Forcardos Crude Export Pipeline and Crude Loading Platform, Beniboye Oil Field, Express Petroleum’s Oil Field, Britaina-U operated Ajapa Marginal Field, Forcados Effluent Water Disposal Line, Trans-Ramos Trunk line, Agip drilled and cocked wells, Ofou Pipeline, and Trans Forcados Pipeline.
Other key issues considered by the youths include large scale shore protection/sand-filling projects in Itsekiri riverine/oil producing communities and Gbaramatu Kingdom.
They also condemn the apparent aberration of the Local Content Act as it affects direct employment opportunities into government and non-government organisations, lack of health care facilities, zero federal presence, no approval for capacity building through government’s intervention programme such as the 2015 Anchor Borrowers Programme to support local entrepreneurs interested in owning marginal fields and modular refinery.
The continuous neglect of Ijaw and Itsekiri indigenes thereby aggravating crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the lack of electricity to light up communities while gas is piped to provide electricity to the East, West, North, and other parts of Nigeria amongst other myriad of issues like pollution, poor sanitary conditions, total absence of portable water, and the likes as earlier put forward by their Gbaramatu/Itsekiri compatriots, worse than which are the exact situation in Iduwini Kingdom, Delta and Bayelsa States was also frowned at.
The communique issued by the Iduwuni youths reads:
“ The Federal Government should order immediate resumption of work at the Multi-Billion Dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, GRIP and the Deep-Sea Port in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State.”
“In addendum to (1a), the Federal Government should order immediate construction of a Modular Refinery within the bounds of Iduwini Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State as we have large expans of land, free of charge with security guarantee.”
“Education is very key in human and societal development. We therefore call on the Federal Government to immediately order the establishment of Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Odimodi as the location is central to hundreds of communities within and outside Delta State.”
“We are calling on the Federal Government to immediately halt 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 indigenes as well as Itsekiri Sons and Daughters from oil and gas producing communities given “right of first refusal” on marginal fields in our homelands, before being thrown open to outsiders.”
“As lucidly stated in (2a) above, we are calling on the Federal Government to immediately halt the current process of bids for the 57 Marginal Fields and incorporate the interest of competent companies owned by sons and daughters of Iduwini communities given “right of first refusal” on marginal fields in our homelands, before being thrown open to outsiders.”
“If competent companies owned by indigenes of Itsekiri oil/gas communities and Gbaramatu people are not considered by DPR for the 57 Marginal Fields with immediate effect, we will be constrained to shut-down operations of the multi-national oil and gas companies (IOCs) operating in our homelands.”
“As in (3a) above, if competent companies owned by indigenes of Iduwini Kingdom are not considered by DPR for the 57 Marginal Fields with immediate effect, we will be constrained to shut-down operations of the multi-national oil and gas companies (IOCs) operating in our homelands, as all our ancestors gravesites, existing homes and territorial waters form part the said oil blocks and marginal fields, whether currently producing or not yet producing.”
“The Federal Government should direct the relevant MDAs/IOCs to embark on large scale shore protection/sand-filling projects in Izon and Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities, including those of Iduwini Kingdom.”
“The Federal Government should institute process for the facilitation of the abandoned age-long Omadino-Escravos Road and the Koko/Ogheye Road Projects, which have remained a mere campaign tool for successive administrations, despite their strategic importance to the socio-economic development of Delta State and the South-Western part of Nigeria.”
“We demand that the Federal and Delta State Governments should call to a round table all IOCs, NDDC, DESOPADEC, NGOs, etc., to ensure the completion of the age-long abandoned Egbo-Ide/Ogulagha Road and the Gbaregolor/Ogulagha Road Projects, which have remained a mere campaign tool for successive Federal and State administrations, despite their strategic importance to the socio-economic development of Delta State and the Niger Delta.”
“The urgent and immediate relocation of the Floating Dock/Ship Building Yard to enhance capacity building for students at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko as was earlier envisaged.”
“The urgent and immediate building of the Delta State College of Marine Technology, Burutu, to enhance capacity building for students as was earlier envisaged in like manner by the Delta State Government.”
“We demand immediate and comprehensive investigation into what led to millions of dead and rotten fishes that surfaced on the waterways and fish-traps in Iduwini Kingdom and other coastal izon and Itsekiri communities, with a view to carrying out the necessary remediation, and adequate compensation paid to those who have suffered loss or damages.”
“We strongly demand that the President Buhari-led Federal Government should direct the IOCs working in our land to revoke and apply the LOCAL CONTENT ACT in their employment regime with emphasis on employing as direct staff, 60% of their total workforce.”
“ In tandem to the call on the Federal Government to instruct Nigerian Port Authority through the Ministry of Transportation to dredge the Escravos Bar-Mouth, we call for the immediate rebuilding of the Warri, Koko, Burutu and Sapele ports in Delta State.”
“We also call on the Delta State Government to immediately rebuilding of the Delta Timber Industry Burutu and Sapele.”
“While in full support of the demand for immediate constitution of a substantive NDDC board instead of the present interim committee who lavishly wasted our derivation money on Covid-19 without recourse to the communities that should have the larger chunk of the accrued money to the commission, and whose interests are capitally inimical to the development of all Oil/Gas Producing Communities and the Izon Nation and Iduwini Kingdom, Delta State in particular,”
“We demand the total restructuring of the Niger Delta Ministry and the NDDC to have sub boards at each community level who manages the annual accruals to the community.”
“In like manner, we demand the total restructuring of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by the Delta State Government, to have sub boards at each community level who receives and manages the annual accruals to the community.”