Leaders of Kou Delta Communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have collectively sounded a note of strong warning to the management of Sterling Global Oil Exploration Company at Agge in river Ramos to halt any further operations in the area over a misunderstanding.
The leaders made their position known to journalists in Warri yesterday via a statement signed by the trio of Mr. Felix Galiwei, Opinion Leader of Kou Delta, Mr. Eric Faka, a leader in the area as well as Comr. Moses Okosuwei, GMoU Chairman of Kou Delta Communities
, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspaper.
The statement noted that they will resist any attempt with the last drop of their bloods if Sterling Global Oil Exploration Company tries to stop the communities monthly stipends and the non payment of indigenous contractors among other pending issues.
The leaders had accused the management of the company for operating a master servant relationship with their host communities, adding that Sterling is such a greedy company.
They noted that since the company started operation in the area in 2011, the communities have always been open by embracing them in their dealings, noting that in return, what they are getting from the company is just a crumb.
The trio stated that it is quite regrettable for the company to have abandoned its cooperate social responsibilities to their host communities, alleging that the most excruciating experience is how the company rudely turned its back against the people without providing any palliatives to the communities to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the novel coronavirus.
Felix, Eric and Okosuwei expressed shock that while other companies are meeting their host communities at the point of their needs, the story of Sterling in relating to their host communities remains a sad tale as nothing is done to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
Some of the other issues pointed out by the opinion leaders that requires urgent attention include payment of the remaining balance of the GMoU, payment of surveillance workers in the area as well as immediate correction of the company’s oppressive tendencies.
Narrating their ordeals, the statement maintained that the use of military men to intimidate the defenceless and peaceful people whenever they demands for their rights have continued to be one of the most dominant behaviour of Sterling Global to their host communities.
They stated that trouble started when the management drafted a letter which was distributed to the leadership of the various communities constituting Kou Delta, notifying them that due to the drastic fall of oil price in the World, the company would be stopping all what they were paying the communities including the communities stipends, surveillance workers, community contractors and other benefits until such time when the price must have been stabilised in the global market.
In reaction to the above, the people are rejecting the said plan from the company, adding that if they fail to pay their workers and contractors, they will stop the operations of the company in the area as no oil exporting activities will be allowed.
The statement said it would be better for Sterling Global to be loading and exporting their oil exploration activities in Kwale, Delta State and not to bother themselves in coming to their territory, warning that such can only happen when they must have killed everyone in the communities.
The communities constituting Kou Delta include Okibou Zion, Okia, Youtu, Agge -Okibou, Belle, Okofa-Aka and Kare-epere community.
The leaders also fingered one Mr. Sandiv, the vice chairman of Sterling Global Oil Exploration Company for fueling the misunderstandings between the company and host communities, stressing that they are fully ready for the matter.