The people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the members of the Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities (MDIOGPC), both from Warri South West Council Area of Delta, on Sunday vowed to disrupt the 614km-long Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) project if their earlier demands are not met.
The communities had earlier demanded, among others, that the Federal Government should “immediately halt the current process of bid for the 57 marginal oil fields” and “direct the relevant MDAs and OICs to embark on large scale shore protection and sand filling projects in Itsekiri oil and gas producing communities and the Gbaramatu kingdom”.
They said they were ready to disrupt all oil and gas explorations in their communities if the Federal Government went ahead with the AKK project which ground-breaking was concluded recently.
In a joint communique by the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs and the MDIOGPC signed by Godspower Gbenekama and Mike Odeli for Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chief and MDIOGPC, respectively, they said that despite their earlier warnings, the Federal Government has remained adamant and had refused to heed to their demands.
They accused the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of deliberately abandoning the multi-billion dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project (GRIP) and the Deep Sea Port in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta, while they went ahead to perform the ground-breaking for the AKK project.
The communities said though they were not against AKK project, the Federal Government must also continue the GRIP and EPZ projects or they will be constrained to disrupt any attempt to continue with the AKK project.
“Federal Government should instruct Nigerian Ports Authority through the Ministry of Transportation to dredge the Escravos Bar-Mouth in order to enhance the optimum usage of the Warri, Koko, Burutu and Sapele ports in Delta. 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.
“We demand for the immediate constitution of a substantive NDDC board instead of the present interim committee who lavishly wasted our derivation on COVID-19 without recourse to the Communities that should have the larger chunk of the accrued money to the commission, and whose interest are capitally inimical to the Development of the Itsekiri Oil and Gas Producing Communities and the Gbaramatu kingdom,” they said.
Other demands made by the communities include institution of the process for the facilitation of the age-long abandoned Omadin-Escravos and the Koko/Ogheye Roads project, urgent and immediate relocation of the floating Dock/Ship building yard to enhance capacity building for students at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko among others.