By AbdulwahabÂ Abdulah
Ndokwa Youth Con gress (NYC) in Delta State has accused the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC)Â of relinquishing its social responsibility, by allegedly treating the host communities with disdain in refusing to heed presidential directive that it stepped down electricity for Ndokwa communities.
To this end, the youths have issued a 60-day ultimatum to the company by which their demands to step down electricity for their community be met.
The youths, who gave the warning at a press conference in Lagos, said the company hasÂ neglected its social responsibility to Ndokwa people of Delta State, on whose soil the company has operated for over 40 years.
â€œThe failure of NAOC to step down electricity for the Ndoka nation is a deliberate slight not only against the Ndokwa nation, but the very fabric of our sovereignty- the constituted authority.
“The NYC recollects that at the commissioning of the IPP on April 1, 2005, former President Olusegun Obasanjo gave a presidential directive to NAOC to immediately commence the step down of electricity for our people.â€
The NYC also rejected the National Gas Master Plan for not mentioning Ndokwa community, which the group claimed was host to Nigeria’s largest gas deposit andÂ home to the multi-billion dollar Okpai Independent Power Project (IPP), operated by the NAOC.
The IPP, according to them, currently generates 448 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.
At the conference, addressed by, Chimennma Kessington Okolo, NYC President and other members of the groupâ€™s executive, called for immediate address of developmental problems of the Ndokwa people and review of the National Gas Master Plan which was presented recently.
Hinging their arguments on their persistent calls on the oil company to recognize the people of the area they said the time is now for NAOC to address the injustice against the communities.
The youths gave a 60-day ultimatum within which their demands should be met, failing which â€œwe will be compelled to take drastic actions to ensure we get what rightfully belongs to our people.â€
â€œThe Ndokwa nation despite tremendous provocation has remained the most peaceful oil and gas producing ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta without any history of oil related violence, attacks on oil facilities, pipeline vandalism, hostage taking or kidnaping for ransom,â€ Okolo said.
â€œHowever, our peaceful disposition appears to have been taken for granted especially by the NAOCâ€¦. Let us state without equivocation that patience has its limit and our patience with the NAOC has ran out. Is it not the height of provocation that for the Ndokwa nation to have sited in her territory such a mega project as the Okpai IPP and have it stepped down in faraway Obosi, a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul? Today whereas other areas enjoy the electricity from our backyard with our gas resources, we are left to live in absolute darkness.â€
Okolo also accused the NAOC of refusing to meet with Ndokwa people to iron things out as directed by the Delta State Government, adding: â€œPerhaps the NAOC has mistaken our peaceful disposition for cowardice and abdication of our sovereign and inalienable right to good corporate practice from it.â€