Itsekiris and other stakeholders have been urged to explore dialogue to redress issues of alleged marginalisation over the gains of oil in her communities.
Chairman Warri south local government area, Dr Michael Tidi made the appeal yesterday in Warri, Delta state against the backdrop of threat by Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities, MDIOGPC, to shut down oil exploration in Itsekiri communities if their agitation for a fair deal from the oil and gas were not met within a time frame.
The council boss, Michael said the threat coming at a time of the global economic downturn brought by Coronavirus (COVID-19) would further worsen the nation’s economic base.
“The threat in the face of the global economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, would further deplete the revenue profile of the Federal and State Governments and subsequently reduce government’s financial muscle to address the genuine agitation”. he appealed
“The world has been watching the commendable peaceful protests by the Itsekiri group over the unfair deprivation of the Modular Floating Dockyard, MFD, for the training of students of the Nigerian Maritime University and the legitimate demand for resumption of construction work at the Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, GRIP, in Warri South-West Local Government Area, stated:“, he said “The world knows it is unconscionable to deny the oil-producing people Oil Mining Licenses, OML, and Marginal Fields generously given to others to their exclusion.”, he added.
“The Federal Government has awarded the electrification project that will benefit about 50 communities in the Escravos area and work is ongoing but need be expedited, there is need for sustained dialogue by members of the Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities, MDIOGPC as well as other critical stakeholders from Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas with the Federal Government, so as to urgently fix issues of ocean surge, environmental degradation, land reclamation and lack of other basic infrastructures plaguing the oil and gas producing/riverine communities of the three Warri Local Government Areas.“ he said.
Itsekiri under the group, MDIOGPC, and Gbaramatu Ijaw had intensified demand on the federal government to halt the bidding process for 57 marginal oil field, accusing the government of ignoring competent sons and daughters from the areas in the process.
They also among others enjoined the government to resume work on abandoned Omadino Escravos Road and the Koko/Ogheye Road Projects.