WARRI-Youths operating under the auspices of Concerned Gbaramatu Youths in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, have today raised alarm over imminent crisis between the Itsekiris and the Ijaws if the management of Ocean Marine Solutions does not correct what they described as anomaly in the pipeline contract.
This was revealed in a letter signed by the duo of Mr. Ebullient Ejoh, Secretary and Mr. Kirifede Oyibo Paul, opinion leader of the group and was sent to newsmen in Warri early today.
The group particularly appealed to the Chairman Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okumbo to modify the anomaly in the management of NNPC/PPMC Crude Oil Trunk Line Security Contract in Gbaramatu Kingdom, stressing that failure to do so could throw both ethnic groups into another round of avoidable crises.
The group further stated that the said contract do not just start with Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd (OMS), alleging that it was a brain child of High Chief Tompolo that begins operations since 2004 in collaboration with the Delta State Government.
“We are all aware of the fact that TOMPOLO solely took it to the Federal Government under the former regime of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua where it was approved to run on Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States as a pilot scheme before it was fully approved.” It stated.
The letter read “For equity, fairness, tranquility and justice to all, the areas under surveillance were shared along ethnic lines. That is, Ijaws control their areas; Itsekiris were allowed to coordinate their areas as well as Isoko, Urhobo, etc. This singular action gave rise to other persons as representatives of their ethnic groups being introduced into the board of directors of Oil Facilities Surveillance Limited (OSFL). For instance, Hon. Michael Diden aka Ejele and Chief Ayiri Emami who were not originally part of the board of directors of Oil Facilities Surveillance Limited (OSFL).
“Surprisingly, at that time up till the point the contract was taking from him, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Alias Tompolo) has all the political big wigs, security apparatus and the voices of Niger Delta people yet his actions and inactions never in anyway shortchanged or circumvent or undo or infringed on any ethnic group in respect of this pipeline surveillance contract. Rather, for peace and stability he has always maintained that we should be our brothers keepers.” The letter asserted
It further added “We all unanimously agreed to respect each others territories. This was the bases for which the surveillance contract was shared along ethnic lines among other reasons. In addition, the activities that brought the Ijaws and Itsekiris together are numerous but for the purpose of coexistence all entities have been organized with respect to ethnicity without anyone infringing on the other.
“For instance, the formation of Regional Council by Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Escravos, Delta State. We have, Ijaw Region Council (IRC) commonly called Egbema Gbaramatu Development Council and that of the Itsekiri Region Council (IRC). This was done for peace, stability and easy administration of host communities.
“We strongly believe Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS) would not be different; as such, would not be used as the catalyst by detractors of both ethnic groups to reawaken the age long feud between these brothers.”
According to the group, “However, we are lost to why Mr. Benson Onuaje of all people who has friends on the other divides and pretty knowledgeable with all that happened during the Warri crisis would want to be the one to brace the gap to shortchange, infringe and undo the Ijaws in this surveillance contract. The idea of employing non-indigenes as sub-contractor or to coordinate or supervise the Ijaw territories is indeed unacceptable, very saddening and deeply regrettable by all and its vise-visa.
“Furthermore, this would be seen as a slap on the face of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) simply because of his present political travail and a deliberate attempt to provoke the peace loving people of Gbaramatu and other Izon Kingdoms in general into crisis with their Itsekiri counterpart.
“We have privilege information that the contract is yet to be signed but your operations are all backed by a ‘’Comfort Note’’ pending a valid contract award. However, it is an anomaly to use a non tribe to coordinate or supervise the Ijaw territories and vise-visa.”
“Pieces of advice sir, the good works of Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo, JP “aka Capt. Hosa” should be applauded by all in the Niger Delta including the Ijaws in Warri South-West LGA. Therefore we should not allow tribal sentiment or greed of a few dents his robust profile and goodwill.
“In a nutshell sir, let the Ijaws control their territories and others do same in their areas. This is in conformity with the Local Content Act and it does allow for peace and stability which is the hallmark of businesses and developments.
We already had a lot of security challenges in the area, adding more is certainly unnecessary. Rather, we are strongly appealing to you to do the right thing without fear or favour.” It stated.
However, the group alleged that the reincarnating Warri Crisis started with undermining and brazen intimidation of one another while seeking for fairness in the pipeline contract to avoid a repetition of such imbroglio.
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