Chinazor Megbolu |
For not carrying them along during the bidding rounds of 57 oil marginal field in their Community, the Campaign for the Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN) has threatened to shutdown oil and gas operations in their area.
The group made this disclosure at the weekend, stating that the threat will be carried out if the Federal Government of Nigeria refuses to initiate fresh process of ceding out the 57 marginal oil field.
The statement, which was signed and issued by its President, CATESUN, Olorogun Ese Kakor, discosed that they are calling for a fresh bidding process of the 57 Marginal Oil Field because it was necessitated by illegal moves by the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Timipre Sylva, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director-General of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Usman Auwalu to exclude Urhobo people from the process.
“CATESUN is using this medium to repeat the call to President Muhammadu Buhari to call his officers in the oil and gas industry to order because they are the architects of this potentially combustive situation, which has the capacity to set the entire Niger Delta on fire again,” Kakor said.
They maintained that the group will shutdown the oil and gas activities in their areas in just a week’s time, if the Federal Government refuses to heed to their call for “fairness and justice”.
He noted that the people of Urhobo community had in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, given a 14-day ultimatum for a fresh process of bidding out the 57 marginal oil fields, which will be met with an equally stiff resistance if government fails to attend to their plea.
Kakor noted that a new process will give competent Urhobo men and women the opportunity to participate in oil and gas activities fairly, having “endured injustice, since the discovery of crude oil in their lands.
According to him; “if by the end of the given date, the unjust, inhuman and definitely satanic process of giving the 57 marginal fields out, with the exclusion of Urhobo people is not terminated, the Urhobo nation will take the definite action of shutting down all oil and gas operations going on within her territories.
“This is not an empty threat, but a clear national action plan, ready for execution. Enough is enough!”.
Meanwhile, a member, Olorogun Matthew Uparan in the statement argued that the community, despite contributing largely to the national purse, the government has continued to scheme them out from participating in oil exploration, through different means.
“We have the oil resources, we have the gas. If they will not listen to us that means they are not ready to explore our oil again. We are going to shut down everything.
“If they sweep our agitation under the carpet, from July 20, they will hear from us,” he said.
However, the statement maintained that Urhobo nation is host to several oil and gas facilities, some of which are the multi-billion dollar Utorogu Gas Plant, reportedly the biggest in Africa.