-Demand For Appropriate Dialogue With SEEPCO
Irked by the forceful oil exploration in OKWUIBOME J location which belongs to the Umu-Eze family in Umu-Ugbome quarters, Okpai, Ndokwa East LGA without proper consultations by Sterling Oil Exploration And Energy Production Company LTD, the landlords have called on the Federal Government, Delta State Government, (NNPC) (DPR) (NCDMB) and other regulatory bodies in the Oil and Gas sector to caution the company to stop all oil explorations in the area.
The family representatives made the call on Saturday while speaking with newsmen on the use of force by SEEPCO in carrying oil exploration duties in Okwuibome J location without due consultations with the family.
A statement signed by the Chairman of Umu-Eze family, Charles Odili, representative of the family said they are open to negotiation with SEEPCO.
“We noted that the peace loving family have now been living in fear in their own land as the company go about with security agents harassing and molesting members of the family in their own land.
“We the Umu-Eze Okpai family are using this medium to call on the Federal government and all the parastatal in the oil and gas sector to caution SEEPCO to stop oil exploration in our Okwuibome J location if they are not ready to negotiate with us.
“We have been dealing with Agip without issues.
“We have waited patiently for them to take the step of meeting with us the land owner whose farm lands are being used and we are still open to dialogue and negotiation, but they have failed to show up and have continued their activities without doing the needful.
“As a peace loving family, our family is ever ready to come to the dialogue table and resolve things amicably as we want our country to develop, but rather what we see is the company harassing citizens with Army, mobile police and other security agents for demanding for their rights.
“ In this century, there is nowhere a company will just jump into somebody’s private property all in the name of exploring oil without meeting the people and negotiating so why will our own be different.
“We believe Nigeria has faced a lot of security challenges for the past eight years and issues like this, if Delta State Govt, Federal government, NNPC, NAPINS, DPR, NCDMB refuse to act by calling SEEPCO to order or the company itself fails to do the needful, we will be forced to make sure we protect our land if it will take the last drop of our blood to do that.
“We are therefore calling on the Delta State Govt, Federal Government and other regulatory bodies to wade into this issue by ordering SEEPCO to meet with the Umu-Eze Okapi family that is the landlord for a proper discussion that will be documented, if not we will be force to thwart all their work.
“Also, in the spirit of ensuring another crisis between oil company and landlord/host community do not erupt again in Delta State, we’re urging the State governor, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to also intervene by setting up a committee that will ensure the laws that guides oil exploration in Nigeria are strictly adhered to and landlord/host community accorded their rights.
“We are not going to accept anything other than proper negotiations with us.
Umu-Eze Okapi family is one of the major oil producing family in Okapi kindom, Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State and have hosted AGIP for more than 45years without much issues.