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Home View Point BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN ODIMODI COMMUNITY: THE TRUTH, THE FACTS AND...

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BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN ODIMODI COMMUNITY: THE TRUTH, THE FACTS AND WAY FORWARD

By Cedric Amu Itoto.

My attention has been drawn to the peace committee inaugurated by the present chairman of Odimodi community, Chief Sarpark Obaila, first and foremost I want to salute you for the wisdom to initiate this process when the community (Odimodi) has been written off by neighboring community.May the wisdom God Almighty gave to Solomon be made available to you too.

The truth is that, for anyone to have a sustainable peace in his environment / community, The people must embrace God when our Lord Jesus and his disciples were in the sea, there was a serious storm and turbulence, His disciples were afraid and confused, they turn to the prince of peace, and said master we are about to perish, the prince of peace looked at the storm and turbulence ” PEACE BE STILL ” He commanded the storm to keep calm, the disciples were astonished, they said what manner of man is Jesus Christ that even the wind, storm obeyed him.

Are the people of Odimodi community ready to embrace peace? Because peace cannot be achieved by one man or some group of people. God said my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, turn away from their wicked ways, they will hear from above and He will heal their lands.

How many of us are ready to humble ourselves, pray, turn away from our wicked ways and call the name of the Lord for God to heal/cleans Odimodi Community?

The facts: Sometimes hearing my Boss saying “Na point” during discussion and deliberation, one will always think he love joking alot but the word “Na point” means facts.

The facts of the issues surrounding Odimodi community has not been told, most of the indigenes are not abreast with the happenings in this community. In strong terms I personally condemn those behind the burring of houses in the community but has anyone asked what led to that? It was a supremacy battle, for security reasons I will not go into details

Causes of problems in Odimodi community, a long term marginalization by some section/group of individuals 

These persons claimed anything/issue(s) concerning Odimodi community if they are not involved i.e if their interest is not included, that issues(s) will not see the light of the day. These persons have succeeded in monopolizing and personalizing wealth/work meant for the entire community. They signed a memorandum of understanding with AGIP mortgaging the wealth, work slots that belongs to the community to themselves. The future of Odimodi community has been mortgaged by these persons, an Odimodi indigene cannot asked for job or what is due to the community, these persons go to court without the consent of the community claiming they are working for the progress of Odimodi community. My question is, you are working for the growth/progress of Odimodi and you claimed a power of attorney was given to you by your community what is wrong with bringing what is genuinely due Odimodi people to the community? Is power of attorney not revocable? I need an answer.

Multiple contributions in different quarters

These same group has also succeeded in contributing in the three(3) major quarters in Odimodi. The three major quarters are Embe – Bomuzuwei, Ifie and Ifikorowei, sub quarters in Embe-Bomuzuwei are: Embeware, Bomuzuwei I and Bomuzuwei II. Sub quarters in Ifie are: Ebiwei Bulobou, Saipaware, Ikileware, Paghasa, Guweke ware. Sub quarters in Ifikorowei are: Ifikorowei, Seighabina I, Seighabina II. When the chairmanship of Odimodi community is zoned to any of these quarters, they go to the said quarters and course issues, is only a candidate that will support their being in dominance of the community that will emerge as chairman, if they sense you will oppose and expose them, they will ensure you will not emerge as chairman through propaganda and diabolic means, if you succeed (emerge) they will course unrests through out your stay in office or you must come to terms and agreement with them. Odimodi community is retrogressing because of these persons, the indigenes need to take a drastic step/action to stop these retrogressive elements in Odimodi. Odimodi is a community admired in the past because of his decisive step taken by the indigenes to attract progress but because of these elements, Odimodi community has been relegated among communities in BLGA.

Tenement Rate 

These shouldn’t be an issue in the community but these same persons are still involved, if not them bringing the present Rentage from SPDC there will be no peace. Let me take you back to memory lane concerning these issue so that it will not look am one sided, we all know that the community executive fall into the hands of a smart guy and he manipulated the entire process to himself. He became rich through Odimodi land rent. They say first mistake can be tolerated and the second mistake is deliberate, these became an eye opener for the entire community were everyone, big, small and baby want to be a mediator (power of attorney) between SPDC and the community to bring the said rent. These group of persons are also working with the top management staff of SPDC Forcados Terminal to impoverish Odimodi community. They instruct (connives) SPDC top management staff who to give AGO supply to in Odimodi community. If you don’t allow them to carry maintenance on SPDC export line/ pipeline, they will blackmail you and call you all sort of names. “you are sponsoring a militant camp. All to ensure they are in charge or in control.

Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) 

This is one of the major hit point in Odimodi community saga. 90% of the indigenes are against the formation/ constitution of the GMOU. If not for greed how on earth an indigene of Odimodi community will ever accept such formation and constitution? SPDC is spending millions of nairas in executing projects in Odimodi community one of such project is the Odimodi water project, that project is more than one hundred million naira (N100,000,000), then SPDC is telling a greedy indigene of the Community that they will be spending just sixty million naira in every calendar year for four (4) major communities in Iduwini kingdom is that acceptable? The composition of communities in Iduwini Globstar is another issue bothering the well thinking Odimodi indigene, no Odimodi man will refused the Oborotu being part of the Iduwini Globstar because you have the Oborotu pipelines and yeye community pipelines, so the Oborotu has 100% right to be part of Iduwini Globstar, is that an issue? Absolutely no, the issue bothering Odimodi indigenes is clear and simple and they are slated below.

If SPDC has been executing projects over one hundred million naira on community development in just Odimodi community alone, why will indigenes of Odimodi community or group of people in Iduwini kingdom accept fifteen million naira (N15, 000, 000) per community in Iduwini Globstar for yearly community development because a neighbouring community whom Odimodi is benefiting 25% from the terminal is rejecting eight hundred million naira (N800,000,000) in their said Globstar or GMOU. Let us assume that they are to be paid that said sum of money, by my own calculation, Odimodi community should demand 25% of the said money SPDC is offering to their neighbours not to talk about the Oborotu’s that are part of the Iduwini Globstar, putting together, the people of Iduwini kingdom that made up the Iduwini Globastar should be demanding for five hundred million naira (N500, 000, 000) for their Globstar or GMOU as community development annually. The second issue concerning the GMOU that is bothering Odimodi indigenes is the composition of the community in Iduwini Globstar. Odimodi comprises of various villages that made up the Odimodi federated communities, in these communities, they have oil facilities, these communities are Beniboye, Isiayegbene, Boutobou e.t.c. Beniboye has the Beniboye flow station, Isiayegbene plays host to SPDC major and export lines/pipeline and Boutobou is also hosting another major export lines/pipeline, this is one of the reason why Odimodi indigenes are rejecting Iduwini GMOU, they want the said communities to be included in the GMOU, during the peace process initiated by the state government, a committee was set up by the state government to confirm the claims of Odimodi community in respect of the inclusion of these communities.

The committee went to these villages to see for themselves if the claims of Odimodi is true. They reported back and SPDC was invited and was asked to include the said villages in Iduwini GMOU. Is the chairman of the said GMON afraid of losing his position as the chairman? I believe nobody is after who becomes the GMOU chairman but getting things rightly done should be the proper thing to do.

Rumor mongering 

Some stakeholders in the community are paying heavily to get false information, this is one area that has caused serious division in the community and am particular about persons who always sees people who are conniving, collaborating, ganging and teaming up with others to bring him down. Some followers has discovered his kind of leadership, that is only when you give him information that he will give you huge money, these supporters who want to pay house rent, children school fees, sleeping in big hotels and other sundries have seen it as an opportunity to hang around this leader and feed him with information to get financial benefits, this has not help the community at all. Go to Warri, take a good look at their offices (I have been to all their offices) how many of these so called leaders have employed indigenes of Odimodi community as a secretary and management staff? Non except one who employ a girl as his secretary. These leaders are benefiting from the wealth of the community but they don’t want their supporters/ followers to benefit from a wealth that belongs to all neither they enjoy paying heavily to cause division among brothers and family. BE WISE

Court cases (litigations)

There are numerous court cases in the community, when litigations are meaningless, problem is inevitable, is only in Odimodi community you will see people carrying documents (case files) like mobile phones, so much money has been spent on litigation with no meaningful result, benefits and impacts on the community. I was having an argument with one of Odimodi community leader during PDP ward congress, he said S.A appointment was given to the ward and the appointments were one sided, I asked him a simple question “after the 2015 general election, communities and ethnic groups were engaging the governor for appointment through media (prints/social) but Odimodi community was busy spending millions of naira in media house and court cases. The only thing that took Odimodi community to the Governor’s table was an internal crises rocking the community.

These groups that has held the community captive long ago are making serious money in the name of litigation (court cases). Is only in Odimodi community that they have a special account for court cases and the sum of four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) is been paid into this account monthly. These court cases should be filtered, the meaningless ones are just too much and they are causing issues in the community.

Finally; back to the peace committee, how can you achieve peace when the people of the peace committee are one sided, according to my friends, Odimodi factions are categorized into two (2) “Sudan and South Sudan” either you are in Sudan or you are in South Sudan.

Way forward 

Let us turn back to God for mercy, in as much as God is willingly ready to forgive us our trespasses, we on our part should also forgive those who have trespassed against us (FORGIVENESS). The peace we are looking for, God has released it but we are not ready to embrace it. My prayer is God, in as much as they are not ready, Lord force your peace to rest in Odimodi Community.

Email: gbaramatuvoice@gmail.com or 07050776945

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