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Protest: Commissioner Urges Dialogue Over PIA Implementation
Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, has called on the protesting host communities to Otumara Flow Station of the Shell Petroleum Development Commission (SPDC) in Warri South West Local Government Area to engage in a friendly dialogue with the multi-national oil firm over the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Oyibode, who made the call while briefing journalists on the outcome of his visit to Otumara Flow Station and the host communities, in Warri, at the weekend, urged the protesting communities of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun not to shut down the operations of the SPDC.
According to the commissioner, “the 20,000 barrels per day SPDC facility in Otumara is of great economic importance to the Federal and Delta State Government”.
He said the state government would continue to intervene where and when necessary just as he implored the host communities and SPDC to explore the benefits of dialogue in resolving the disagreement.
Oyibode also stated that the Governor Sheriff Oborevwori-led government was determined to provide an enabling environment for international oil companies and investors in the State.
The commissioner said, “the management team, Ministry of Oil and Gas visited the protestants at the Otumara community where the Flow Station is sited.
“We held discussions with leaders who expressed their concerns. We also advised that the internal wranglings within critical stakeholders over the name for the HCDT should not lead to shutting down of Otumara Flow Station and SPDC’s operations”.
The commissioner insisted that the disagreement between the host communities to Otumara Flow Station and SPDC which has to do with setting up a Host Community Development Trust was a matter that can be resolved amicably, adding that “the Delta State Government is on top of the issue.
“We appeal to the host communities of Ugborodo, Ugboegungun, and Deghele not to shut down the operations at the Otumara Flow Station, while the negotiations continue for a win-win resolution”.
It would be recalled that the protesting communities had earlier called on the SPDC to visit the host communities in line with the PIA 2021 provisíons which empowers communities to set up a Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).
However, following an alleged illegality of the multinational against the spirit of the PIA by refusing to engage the three communities of the Otumara Flow Station in the Fund, it ignited a protest and upon the expiration of the 48- hour ultimatum gained entry into the facility with the threat of a total shutdown.
Vigilante Seeks Govt’s Assistance Against Cable Vandalism … Arrests Two Suspects
A local vigilante group under the aegis of PHALGA Security Watch, has called for support from the Rivers State Government in mobility for a swift response to cable vandalisation in Port Harcourt City metropolis.
Chairman of the outfit, Victor Ohaji, made the call in an interview with journalists shortly after the arrest of two suspected street light cable vandals at the Fruit Garden area of D-Line, PortHarcourt, weekend.
Ohaji noted that mobility had been a constraint in their fight against cable vandalization around the city, stating that such assistance would enhance their quest to ending the menace in the area.
Ohaji said “This morning, around 2 o’clock, my boys in the Fruit Garden Market called me and said that these boys that vandalise government armoured cable on the streets have come and numbering over 10. I immediately swung into action with the help of one Keke minibus”.
“We need the state government to come to our aid and assist us because we don’t have mobility that we use to chase these boys whenever they come to commit this crime. So, the state government should assist us so that it will be good to all of us”, he said.
Ohaji, who explained that the hoodlums on sighting them took to their heels, stated, however, that they were able to apprehend two of them, named Emeka and Chibuike.
He stated that the suspects have been handed over to the Olu Obasanjo Police Division.
Ohaji further decried the activities of the vandals who he said have vandalised many electric cables in some axis of D-Line in recent times and caused the street lights not to function at night.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying, that investigation was ongoing .
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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