Nigeria’s crude oil export terminal at Forcados, Delta State, risks being shut down as leaders of the host community, Ogulagha Kingdom in Burutu Local Council, yesterday, warned they would cripple oil activities in their domain over alleged marginalisation and neglect by the Federal Government.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated July 24, 2020, and signed by Chief Igere Williams and 12 others, they stated that despite being one of the highest producers of crude oil in Nigeria, and made up of 30 major communities and several satellite villages under the rulership of His Royal Majesty, King Joseph I. Timiyan (JP), they had remained neglected.
They lamented that Ogulagha Kingdom had not benefited in any way from development projects from the Federal Government despite their huge contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
The leaders fumed over the sidelining of Ogulagha indigenes in the 2020 proposed sale of marginal fields by Department of Petroleum Resources and demanded that their indigenes, who are investors, must be given the right of first refusal in the bidding process, warning that they would not concede any marginal field to non-indigenes.
They said: ‘’It is wrong to refer to the Export Processing Zone (Gas Revolution Industrial Park) as Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park, noting that the proposed 27,000 hectares of land, which is part of the export processing zone, is in Ogulagha Kingdom, and should be rightly called Niger Delta Gas Revolution Industrial Park.”
The leaders, therefore, vowed to resist any deliberate attempt to shortchange Ogulagha Kingdom in the process and execution of the gas project.
Besides, they appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately consider indigenes of Ogulagha Kingdom for appointment into federal boards and parastatals such as NDDC, NIMASA, NNPC, presidential amnesty programme and federal universities to give them a sense of belonging in the scheme of things.
They equally requested immediate execution of shore protection at Ogulagha, Obuguru, Osain and Abarabe communities, whose lands are being washed away by high and heavy ocean waves; siting of a federal university, polytechnic, federal medical centre/ hospital in Ogulagha Kingdom.
Other demands are the construction of roads and drainages across the communities, dredging and reclamation of Stuart Creeks and a bridge to connect Ogulagha Kingdom to the oil city of Warri.