By Etop Ekanem
Kokodiagbene community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, listened to a plea by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, and promised to vacate, forthwith, the Otunana flow station it earlier determined to occupy till demands were met.
Otuaro, who chairs Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities, made the plea at a peace meeting with Chevron Nigeria Limited and community leaders of Egbema and Gbaramatu kingdoms in Governor’s Office Annex, Warri.
“I want to appeal to Kokodiagbene community to please oblige us a re-opening of the flow station. What we now need afterwards is strategic engagement to be able to achieve demands of the oil bearing communities.
“We’ll have to set up a platform for dialogue with all stakeholders in attendance. We’ll have to look into these employment and infrastructure demands one after the other and benchmark each on possibilities and delivery timelines to make headway and all of these will require time and patience”, Otuaro pleaded, adding that he hopes “the first meeting will kick off by May 31 2019.”
Chevron’s representative, Mr Brikin Esimaje, however said the oil company was open to dialogue on the demands of the community.
Chairman of protesting Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Mr Uyadongha Poweide, had earlier listed demands of his community to include electricity, pipe-borne water, cottage hospital, foreshore protection, conversion of casual workers to permanent staff, royalty for land acquisition among others. The community chairman said his people had shut down and occupied the Otunana flow station due to CNL’s adamance to their demands.