By Emma Amaize
WARRI—IJAW, Itsekiri, Urhobo and Isoko oil/gas producing communities in Delta State have given a 72-hour ultimatum to the Delta State House of Assembly to pass the bill on restructuring of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, pending before the House.
They served a similar notice on the outgoing governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who initiated the bill for a law to establish DESOPADEC development agencies and investment corporations in the five oil and gas producing ethnic nationalities of the state.
Ijaw and Itsekiri oil/gas communities, in a communique, said that the Jones Creek Flow station was on May 21, forced to shut down through community action, warning that Forcados Terminal, Abiteye, Odidi, Egwa I, II, Olero, Utonama, Dibi, Opuekaba, Bajanj, Yokri, North Bank and South Bank flow stations would be shut down at the expiration of the ultimatum.
Also, the Urhobo and Isoko oil/gas producing communities, in a separate communique, threatened to clamp down on the 27 flow stations in Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Udu, Ethiope West, Ethiope East, Okpe Kingdom , Isoko North and Isoko South, Local Government Areas pending the passage of the bill at the expiration of the ultimatum.
In the communiques by Mr Benjamin Iwetan (Itsekiri), Sheriff Mulade (Ijaw), O’connel Obiomah (Urhobo) and Lucky Akpode (Isoko), the communities said they commenced a joint warning action to ensure the total closure of all production facilities in Delta State, pending the passage of the bill.
“We are worried by the refusal of Delta State House of Assembly to expeditiously pass the 13 per cent DESOPADEC restructuring bill, which seeks to allow the producing communities have control of the 50 per cent of the 13 per cent derivation component.
“We are angered that the joint leadership of the communities has exhausted all avenues and appeals to the state Assembly to pass the said bill,” they added.