By Ebi Oboko
The people of Makaraba in Gbaramatu Kingdom, a community in dispute over ownership of an oil field have vehemently denied that the oil field is in Omadino, an Itsekiri community in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Making the denial in a statement the Makaraba spokesman and the Ganmobowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Alex Makaraba Bubor said: “We want to state in very clear terms that Makaraba Oil Field is not situated in Omadino Community at all from time.
READ STATEMENT IN FULL
RE: MAKARABA AND OTUNANA OIL FIELDS ARE IN OUR LANDS; MAKARABA COMMUNITY’S RESPONSE
“Our attention has been drawn to an article making the rounds in some online media outlets regarding the ownership of Makaraba Oil Field, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West LGA, Delta State.
“In the said article one Mr. Armstrong Omaretsuli Yomere appeared to say that both Makaraba and Otunana Oil Fields are both situated in Omadino Community, Warri South LGA, Delta State.
“Our initial reaction was to ignore Mr. Yomere’s near-horror and puerile comments, hoping that those who know better and have a sense of history will call him to order and educate/enlighten him and get him to cudgel his brains properly, perchance he is seeking sheer popularity and relevance.
“Since that has clearly not happened, it now behoves us to respond to Mr. Yomere and possibly his co-travellers.
MAKARABA OIL FIELD
“We want to state in very clear terms that Makaraba Oil Field is NOT situated in Omadino Community AT ALL from time. Chevron Nigeria Limited, several administrations of Delta State (past and present), the Federal Government of Nigeria, together with other major stakeholders know this for a fact both historically, judicially and as a result foisting riparian rights on the people of Makaraba Community of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
“Where were the people of Omadino when the oil field was named ‘Makaraba’? Where were they when Gulf Oil (now Chevron) bought the said adjoining land/rivers culminating into an oil field from our grandfather Pa Makaraba and paid him rents?
“According to Mr. Yomere, there are court judgments even from the Supreme Court of Nigeria purporting to hand ownership of the Makaraba Oil Field to the people of Omadino. When did that happen? What year?
“Our advise to the said Mr. Yomere is to go take up some history lessons on the Makaraba Community and the wider Gbaramatu enclaves and ‘NOT touch ancient landmarks’ OR seek to fiddle with same, rather he should focus on other progressive enterprise that will be beneficial to all and sundry, and refrain from attempting to stir the hornet’s nest.
This is a CAUTIONARY ADVICE!
“On the issue of the JIV, vis-à-vis the recent oil spill, we have made our position unequivocally clear and do not mind repeating it for the umpteenth time, that we would NOT have a joint investigation whatsoever with the Omadino people. Under no circumstances would that happen! WE WILL NOT RETRACT! NOT NOW, NOT EVER!