…As protesters wants immediate reinstatement of the Transforcados pipeline surveillance, grass cutting contracts
…Payment of outstanding salaries of workers, contractors, reinstatement of community workers
By Binebai Princewill
There was a heavy protest at OML 30, Eruemukohwarien Community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State by workers and members of Eruemukohwarien following the alleged inimical activities of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited, handlers of the facility yesterday. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.
The protesters in their numbers predominantly women, workers of the Transforcados pipeline, elders and community leaders of Eruemukohwarien stormed the Ughelli Pumping Station (UPS), a crude oil facility in OML 30 to demand for the urgent reinstatement of the Transforcados pipeline Surveillance and grass cutting contracts by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited.
The protesters carrying placards with different inscriptions written on them such as “NPDC/Heritage, reinstate the surveillance and grass cutting contracts. NPDC/Heritage, pay us our outstanding salaries/arrears from April 2020 till date for TFP contractors. NPDC/Heritage, pay the backlogs you are owing TFP Surveillance contractors from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively. NPDC/Heritage, reinstate Ochuko Egboduku as C.L.O. NPDC/Heritage, remove UPS from pipeline community and create us our own cluster” and other issues.
However, the protesters who stormed the Ughelli Pumping Station (UPS) at Eruemukohwarien in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State in OML 30 at the early hours of Wednesday morning while chanting different traditional Urhobo songs had asserted that they have become slaves in their own land even with the natural resources God has blessed them with, stressing that if Heritage is not ready to harken to their demands, the company should leave their land for other competent companies to come.
A source who hinted The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide on the protest had said, “our protest is fair and justifiable, we are protesting against the Non payment of arrears for 2017,2018,2019,2020 and 2021, Reinstatement of the trans-forcados pipeline surveillance Contract which was illegally terminated by Heritage Energy Operational services Ltd and reinstated by same Heritage Energy Operational services Ltd via email without Contract documents and job completion certificate for invoicing purpose till date. Heritage has same contract with the infield but terminated only that of the trans-forcados pipeline (TFP),in that regard the delta state Government through a Communique in may 2020 instructed Heritage to work in accordance with article 10:5 of the GMoU document heritage has with the Oml30 host Communities.” The source quarried.
In a unanimous voice, the protesters, speaker after speaker had assured the management of Heritage Energy Operational Service Limited that they would continue to occupy the facility until their demands are met by the company, stressing that it will be so even though if it takes them several months to get justice.
They had all called on the Federal Government of Nigeria, their representatives and the Delta State Government to call Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited to order before it is too late.
On his part, Sir Jonathan Igari, Speaking on behalf of TFP (Transforcados Pipeline) Workers and Contractors during the protest, he said “We have been working here for over ten years from Shell till Heritage, last year 2020, after the Lockdown due to Covid-19, we protested against the non payment of our workers and Contractors, we protested for 8 days, we were called for a meeting by the Asset manager then at Edjeba in Warri with JV partners and resolved that January to March will be paid by the end of January, they also resolved that by the end of February, another meeting will be scheduled to begin payment from April to date.
“Instead of paying January, February and March salaries as agreed in the meeting, Heritage failed to do so, with many pressure from us they came up to pay only January and February 2020 salaries in April 2021 and later paid March salaries in July 2021. This is really not fair in all sense.”
In his words, Mr. Ernest Omoweranu, Public Relations Officer (PRO) Eruemukohwarien community, he said: “this issue has been lingering since last year, we condemn the inimical relationship between Heritage and the community. We have always protected oil facilities here. We have our first oil well in 1958 here in this community, since then we are known for protecting these facilities, since the coming of Heritage, it has been one problem or the other.Protesters
“Considering the lingering issues, we as a community is using this medium to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Delta State Government to call Heritage to order before this issue dovetailed into something else. We have resolved that starting from today that the protest have started, no worker will be allowed to go in or come out until Heritage do the needful.
“We are calling for the immediate reinstatement of Ochuko Egbobuku as (C.L.O) of Heritage and Duku Vona as Human Resources (Edjeba Office) who followed all the processes before getting empolyed. Heritage cannot just come and lay off our Indigenes for no justifiable reason.
“Heritage will lay off community workers without due process, to us as a community it seems as if Heritage has singled out our Indigenes for target. This is unacceptable, we will continue to protest until justice is done .
“The Community is saying that despite the tank farm that is in the town, Heritage still went ahead to tag us as a mere pipeline community instead of a pumping community. No going back, we need Heritage to create for us our own cluster”. Ernest Stated.
Speaking on behalf of all the women in Eruemukohwarien Community, Mrs Doris Okoro, Women leader had maintained that Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited have been deceiving them for too long.
In her words: “Heritage has been deceiving us, we are tired of living and dying in penury, it has been long that Heritage has been suffering us, we will continue to be here until our outstanding payments are paid. This is so unfair as both the workers and Contractors have been subjected into this level of hardship. We won’t take it anymore.”