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Delta: Community leaders threaten to cripple oil production over neglect

Ogulagha Kingdom leaders in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State are protesting against what they described as an alleged deliberate and continued marginalisation of the oil-rich community by the Federal government. This is as they threatened to cripple oil production in the area, if the situation was not reversed.

In a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was dated July 24, 2020 and signed by Chief Igere Williams and 12 others, they said Ogulagha Kingdom which is made up of 30 major communities and several other satellite villages is one of the highest producers of crude oil in the country. The people in the letter lamented that Ogulagha Kingdom had never benefited in any way from the various development projects by the Federal Government despite their huge and overwhelming contribution to the growth of the nation’s economy.

The letter reads in part: ‘’In Ogulagha Kingdom, SPDC operates Forcados Tank Farm and Oil Terminal, Crude Oil Export Loading Platform, South Bank Flowstation, Yokiri Crude Oil Flowstation, Yokiri Gas Lift Flowstation, North Bank Flowstation, North Bank Flowstation, North Bank Gas Station, Estuary Oil Flowstations I and II, Afremor A and B Flowstation which consist of 56 oil clusters and more than 250 oil wells and 30 gas reservoirs. ‘’Other multinationals and indigenous firms in Ogulagha Kingdom are Agip, Chevron, Britannia- U, SNEPCO, and Oando Plc operating facilities such as Beniboye Crude Oil Flowstation (20) oil wells; MEJI Oil Flowstation ( 100) oil wells; AJAPA Floating Crude Oil Flowstation ( 20) oil wells; Bonga Oilfield, OML118, ( 202,000 barrels) daily crude oil production; Akpo Marginal Field ( 5) oil wells.

These companies and their facilities have been on the land of Ogulagha Kingdom for several years and would be there for a long time to come.” Meanwhile, the leaders frowned over sidelining of Ogulagha indigenes in the 2020 proposed sale of marginal fields by the Department of Petroleum Resources and demanded that their indigenes, who are investors, should be given the Right of First Refusal in the bidding process, as Ogulagha Kingdom will not concede any marginal field to non-indigenes. “It is wrong to refer to the Export Processing Zone (Gas Revolution Industrial Park) as Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park.

The proposed 27,000 hectares of land, part of it is in the land of Ogulagha Kingdom. It should be rightly called Niger Delta Gas Revolution Industrial Park as we would resist any deliberate attempt to shortchange Ogulagha Kingdom in the process and execution of the gas project,” they further argued.

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