By Godbles Motiola, Joshua Williams & Joel Fesingha
The indigenous contractors in Kantu and Odidi communities in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta state, have on Friday, declared the Chairman, Neconde Energy Limited, Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu-Obiejesi, popularly known as Obijackson an enemy to the region.
Neconde, an indigenous oil and gas company, operates OML 42 in partnership with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This came as the Kantu/Odidi Core Indigenous Contractors Forum held a protest as a final resort and display of their anguish towards Mr Obi Jackson over alleged non-payment of contractors.
The communities also commenced move to shut down Odidi flow station saying “Until Mr Jackson pays at least 90 percent of what he owes us, we will allow any operation on this facility.
Speaking on the sideline of the protest led by the chairman of the Kantu/Odidi Core Indigenous Contractors Forum, Hon. Saturday Timinimi, said: “Mr Obi Jackson was first welcomed when he came but has now become an enemy of the community.
“Mr Jackson has owed various contractors in the host communities for as long as 10-16 months and after much confrontation, only paid one month to the surprise and disgust of these contractors and then when they would try to confront Mr Jackson, he would use the military to intimidate them.”
Timinimi who was represented by Friday Deinghan, the Chief Mobiliser of the association, further stated that the Federal Government, House of Representatives, state government and even the military had been notified of this concern but nothing had been done yet.
“Odidi flow station will be shut down until Mr Jackson pays at least 90 percent of what he owes us, this is an act of slavery,” he added.
Also, another contractor from Kantu community, Hon. Daniel Adidi who is the CEO of Danko Marine Services and who serves as the financial secretary of the association said that since Mr Obi started oil production in Odidi community, the oil and equipment that he had been using were provided by the indigenous contractors and so he, honorable Daniel was surprised to see that Mr obi was adamant to pay for the use of these equipment.
He further said that most of these contractors resorted to borrowing money in order to provide some of these equipment and so it is a sheer act of wickedness by Mr Jackson to refuse to pay the host contractors.
Hon. Faith Mamamu, a member of the Indigenous Contractors Association was also aggrieved.
According to him, Mr Jackson had been given an ultimatum of 2 months which he did not respond to and so the host community has been forced to take action.
The youth leader represented by Mr kingsley Okripa said “It is surprising to see that our oil is being exploited by Mr Jackson but we are still treated as slaves”.
He said Mr Jackson had over 16 companies owned by him and so there is no valid reason why he wouldn’t be able to pay the Host contractors and communities.
The women also had a bone to pick with Mr Jackson as Mrs Regina Kpakiama who represented the women leader said “It is the law of God that whoever works should be paid, Mr Obi has spilled oil in our Rivers for so long and used our Children’s equipment but he doesn’t pay us, we are tired, it’s either Mr Obi pays or he leaves our community”.
She further said that because of the spillage, it was hard to find fishes and so their food supply and survival is threatened.