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Our People Deserve NDDC, Other Petroleum Related Agencies Appointments – Oil Advocate Group. By Oyagiri Emele

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A Rivers State oil and gas advocate group, Ekpeye Oil and Gas Pipeline Host Families Association, EOG, has stated that people of its ethnic nationality be appointed into the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC board and other petroleum related government agencies.

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The advocacy group said Its request is anchored on the fact that Ekpeye ethnic nationality is feeding the economies of the state and federal governments through resources extracted from its land and also that the Brass-Nembe trunk and Trans Niger Delta trunk lines transverse its forest and farmlands, unlike most members of the board of NDDC.

It made the call through its national chairman, Comrade Dogini Chidi during its 2023 Annual Celebration and sensitisation programme, tagged; “Peaceful coexistence in the oil and gas host communities”, Tuesday, December 26, in Ahoada Town, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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It described the neglect of the area as
worrisome, saying that about 45% of present day crude is gotten from the area and there nothing to show for it.

Dogini, who stressed that the association is poised to redress the long time neglect and marginalization of Ekpeye people by governments at all levels and the International Oil Companies, IOCs, asserted that the association is determined to make a difference.

He said to succeed in its lofty vision, it is ready to work with all strata of society, to change the narrative of decades total neglect meted to the people.

The EOG boss revealed that the lukewarm attitude of many individuals from oil and gas bearing communities had robbed it of many opportunities but hinted that the sensitisation by the group on the social ills of the IOCs has awoken most of the people to the reality and their rights.

Dogini further stated that EOG has made the people realize their rights in the oil and gas business, adding that through the group the people have known what is due them as oil and gas producing communities.

He queried why the people would be so lacking in the midst of surplus, and blamed the security challenges bedeviling area on the insensitivity of the IOCs and their system of causing chaos and disunity in areas of operations.

He wondered why a people so richly blessed would wallow in abject poverty and total neglect, and appealed to the federal government to redress the situation by appointng people of Ekpeye extraction into petroleum related boards.

On the excuse of the IOCs that the area is insecure, the EOG national chairman said: “The companies are part of the problems we have in Ekpeye land. The companies come with a ‘divide and rule’ pattern.

“They create division where there was none. What they are after is to extract the mineral resources and leave the people to their fate.

“This must stop. It is no longer business as usual. The companies must stop the business of bribing some little minds to cause crises in the communities. That would not be accepted any longer.”

The EOG National Chairman commended the Federal Government on its pipeline surveillance contract initiative towards reducing illicit petroleum activities in the Niger Delta region.

He called on the Surveillance contractors to work hand in hand with the Association if they must achieve the desired results.

The EOG Boss used the opportunity to call on Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) to improve on their Community Relations approach, as there are grey areas and issues reported to the Association against it, which are yet to be resolved.

Dogini, commended Tantitta Security Limited on its performances and robust engagement of community based stakeholders aimed at achieving maximal results.

All speakers at the event called for unity of purpose and selfless sacrifice by members to achieve the group’s goals. They advocated for a peaceful agitation.

They also canvassed for a stop to illegal crude mining, otherwise called ‘Kpo fire’.

The group also expressed surprise that companies pay deaf ears when it comes to supporting the Association to carry out community based sensitization programs and wonder why they claim to be fighting against sabotage and Pipeline vandalism.

BochNews investigation revealed that about six licenced multi billion dollar oil and gas oil fields operate in Ekpeye land, namely; OML 60, OML 61, OML 58, OML 28, OML 22, OML 54, OML 27, OML 21 and two major export trunk lines, Brass-Nembe and Trans-Niger Delta in addition with NLNG export line.

These licenses are operated by SPDC, TotalEnergies, Agip, Aradei Holdings Plc etc.

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