Bayelsa Community Petitions Diri, SECURITY Agencies, Over Neglect By NAOC


By Caleb Tamunosaki

The Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has written a petition to alert the state government of a dispute with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

The Olugboro community is accusing the NAOC of discriminatory practices and unjust treatment in its dealings with the two host communities to its Tebidaba flow station in the area.

The leaders of the community urged Agip to act responsibly to prevent any breach of the peace around the flow station which they said they jointly own with Olugbobiri, a sister community.

The letter dated January 6, 2022 with the title ‘An Appeal to Urgently Intervene in the Festering Crisis Between Agip and Olugboboro Community was addressed to the state Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

It was signed by the regent of Olugboboro community, Chief Ebilatei Berepigi, chairman of the Community Development Committee, Wisdom Bazighe, Assistant General Secretary, Amos Oweifighe and Chief, Joseph Ugbe.

The letter copied the Director of Department of State Services, the Commissioner of Police, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters and Commissioners for Mineral Resources and Environment.

The community’s representatives said that AGIP for reasons unknown to them reneged on the land agreements signed with the community and the neighboring olugbobiri in 1973 and excluded them from benefits as host communities to the flow station.

They said, “Things began to change in the late 1990s when Agip decided to sideline Olugboboro community, and has refused to inform Olugboboro community for any compensation, spillage, negotiation and others.

“We have complained to Agip to correct the injustice and demanded that payment be made in the presence of representatives of the Olugboboro community, but Agip has bluntly refused.

“Over the years, Agip has completely neglected Olugboboro community in the scheme of things in Tebidaba flow station.”

The people are giving conditions to the multi national oil firm “to employ indigenes of Olugboboro at both senior and junior levels; award service and supply contracts to indigenes; recognize and relate directly with Olugboboro as host community.”

They also demanded that the community must be duly informed of payments concerning the Tebidaba flow station meant for the two communities.

The warned that “the community should not be blamed for any breach of security if the boiling anger in Olugboboro results in an eventual breakdown of law and order as the people are fed up with the neglect and injustice Agip has visited on the community.”

Efforts to get the reaction of NAOC on the issue did not yield any result as an official of the oil company’s Public Affairs Department in Port Harcourt, Ifeanyi, declined comment and insisted that he would provide the contact of another official who would respond. But he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.


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