By Emma Amaize
WARRI—THE people of oil-rich Kokodiagbene community, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, gave a final notice to the state government of their plan to occupy the Utonana Flow Station, operated Chevron Nigeria Limited, following the company’s inability to supply them electricity.
The villagers had stormed the flow station on February 1 and threatened to shut down operations of the company if after 14 days the oil company did not commence the process of extending electricity to the host community.
A source said: “All peaceful means made in the last few months for the company to meet the demand of the people yielded no result and that is why the people have threatened to go ahead with their relocation to the Utonana Flow station to enjoy electricity together with the staff of the company.”
Chairman of the community, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, who confirmed the development in Warri, said that his people were not happy with the handling of the vexed issue by the state government from February till date.
He said: “Enough is enough. We, the peace loving people of Kokodiagbene community, have been pushed to the wall hence we are giving a final notice of relocation to Utonana flow station to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Chief of Army Staff.
“We sincerely, once again, appeal to Chevron to respect the agreement and kindly connect us to electricity. We are also aware that Chevron is planning to give us a bad name in order to tarnish our image as a peace loving people.
“We have honoured and respected all constituted authorities in respect of our peaceful demand for electricity from Chevron, but it is now very clear that all efforts to make the American oil company do the needful peacefully had failed and, therefore, we have no option than to relocate and join Chevron staff at Utonana flow station to enjoy light with them because light is life.
“It is unfortunate that multinationals operating in Nigeria dictate the pace for our government as a result of lack of political will and corruption and it is very clear that he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
“There is no political will to develop core oil producing host communities, particularly in the riverside communities.”
like Kokodiagbene. It is very sad to note that government never encouraged those maintaining and creating conducive environment for sustainable peace in Delta State, rather government is playing politics with host communities development.
“We call on Governor Okowa to specifically focus on core riverine host communities’ development because we have been shortchanged for too long with the insensitivity of government to our plight,” he added.