-Makes case for Ogulagha indigenes in marginal fields bidding
-Seeks renaming of Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park
-Calls for execution of shoreline protection in Ogulagha, Obuguru, Obotobo, Osain and Abarabe communities
Youths under the aegies of Ogulagha Kingdom Youths Council (OKYC) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the kingdom the country’s socio-economic and infrastructural development plans.
The youths in a press statement on Wednesday lamented the perpetual neglect suffered by a kingdom renowned to be one of the major contributors to the nation’s oil revenue.
President of the OKYC, Comrade Justice Akuna Timiade particularly decried the absolute marginalization of Ogulagha indigenes in the recent sale process of Nigeria’s marginal oil fields.
Citing an earlier address by Ogulagha Traditional Council of Chiefs on the same subject, Comrade Akuna bemoaned government’s continual deliberate neglecting of Ogulagha Kingdom in it’s infrastructural and developmental plans.
“We are using this medium to lend our voice to the protest recently registered by the Ogulagha Traditional Council of Chiefs In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated July 24, 2020, signed by our respected High Chief Igere Williams and 12 others that despite being one of the highest producers of crude oil in Nigeria, the Ogulagha Kingdom that’s made up of 30 major oil producing communities and several satellite villages under the stewardship of His Royal Majesty, King Joseph I. Timiyan (JP), had remained neglected and unattended to by the Federal government which is an eyesore and deliberate act by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to perpetually undermine and neglect the Oil rich Ogulagha Kingdom from benefiting in any way from developmental projects from the Federal Government despite her huge contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s economy through our oil proceeds,” he said.
The OKYC maintained that only the involvement of Ogulagha indigenes in the bidding process will allow for peace as the kingdom will no longer cede any of it’s oil fields to non-indigenes.
“Reemphasizing the leaders deliberate sidelining of Ogulagha indigenes in the 2020 proposed sale of marginal fields by Department of Petroleum Resources and demanding that her indigenes, who are investors, must be given the right of first refusal in the bidding process, while making it clear that nothing on earth would make us concede any marginal field to non-indigenes except the Nigerian state is not ready to further enjoy the Oil proceeds accruing from the Ogulagha Kingdom,” he added.
The OKYC also condemned the naming of the Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park, suggesting the Niger Delta Gas Revolution Industrial Park as an alternative.
It further stated that the park is indeed sited in Ogulagha kingdom and will not condone the neglect of it’s indigenes in the execution of the project.
“Let it also be on record that It is totally wrong and condemnable to refer to the Export Processing Zone (Gas Revolution Industrial Park) as Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park, noting that the proposed 27,000 hectares of land, which is part of the export processing zone is in Ogulagha Kingdom, and should be rightly called Niger Delta Gas Revolution Industrial Park.”
“Hence, we shall resist any deliberate attempt to shortchange Ogulagha Kingdom in the process and execution of the gas project,” he posited.
In stating the level of infrastructural backwardness the Ogulagha people suffers, the OKYC called for the situation of tertiary institutions, medical centres, roads and bridges, as well as the installation of shore protection in Ogulagha kingdom communities.
“We demand for an immediate execution of shore protection at Ogulagha, Obuguru, Obotobo, Osain and Abarabe communities, whose lands are being washed away by high and heavy ocean waves; siting of a Federal University, Polytechnic, Federal Medical Centre/Hospital, the construction of roads and drainages across the communities, dredging and reclamation of Stuart Creeks and a bridge to connect Ogulagha Kingdom to the oil city of Warri are still major to us as we have been the hen that lays the golden egg for over 60years, sustaining the Nigerian State with our God given wealth but yet nothing to show for due to governments insensitivity towards our plights.”
“It is our sincere appeal to Mr President Muhammadu Buhari and the Delta State Governor Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to immediately consider indigenes of Ogulagha Kingdom for appointment into State, federal boards and parastatals such as NDDC, NIMASA, NNPC, DPR Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and Federal Universities to give us a sense of belonging in the scheme of things,” he concluded.