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PERE OF GBARAMATU AVERTS SHUTDOWN OF OIL FACILITY BY PROTESTERS IN DELTA

•As Kunukunuma community gives NPDC 21-day ultimatum to address issue of neglect

THE traditional ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadagba, at the weekend averted plan by aggrieved protesters from Kunukunuma Federated community in Warri South-West Local Council of Delta State to shut down the Odidi flow-station, one of the few functioning oil platforms operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The community had planned to storm the NPDC platform at Odidi and shut it down over alleged neglect, but the monarch, who recently hosted Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in his palace, sent emissaries to the community, promising to resolve the impasse within a few days.

But rather than shut down the oil platform, the community instead issued a 21-day ultimatum to the NPDC, urging it to address the myriad of neglects or risk shutdown of the facilities after the expiration of the grace period.

According to the chairman of the community, Chief Moses Bebenimibo, the community had been neglected to the level where their rights as host community had been totally lost. They said that all the benefits that used to accrue to the community in the past had all gone.

Chief Moses said: “Kunukunuma Federated Community was recognized by SPDC as one of the hosts and has been giving host-benefits in terms rights and privileges. The community enjoyed both post-primary and post-secondary school scholarship benefits from the SPDC over the years during the period the company was operating OML 42 on behalf of NNPC.”

“We are peace loving people and we will like to live in peace. We do not want to do anything to disrupt the existing peace in the area. However, what brings grievances is oppression and denial of a man’s rights and privileges.

“In order to avoid untoward actions that will cause crisis, we want to strongly appeal for the intervention of the Governor of Delta state in this matter to please call NPDC to order and ask them to restore the rights and privileges the Kunukunuma Federated Community has been enjoying when SPDC was in operation according to our community host right as was done by SPDC.” The chairman stated.

The youths leader, Bernard Okrika, who led the placard-carrying protesters, including women, men, youths and the aged, issued a 21-day ultimatum for the NPDC to right the wrongs.

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