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Delta community, oil firm on warpath over alleged neglect

By Dave Osho

Ugbokodo community in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State has given Heritage oil company seven days ultimatum to address its demands or the community will be forced to shut down its operations.

File: Oil pipeline

Youths, women and the people of the community at a protest few days ago blocked the gates of the company over alleged of neglect by the company.

The protesters, displaying placards with inscriptions such as “OMS has not employed surveillance from Ugbokodo”, “Heritage bluntly refuses Ugbokodo employment”,“Ugbokodo needs development and employment from Heritage,” among others, were led by the President of the community, Mr Sunday Odu.

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Odu during the protest said: “They promised to build civic centre for us, till now nothing has happened; there was oil spill and they carried out assessment, still nothing is happening. We want our people to be employed as permanent staff, not on contract.  We have only two persons working as cleaners and contract staff. Our people are qualified and capable.”

Mr Matthew Ifitel, Coaster Coordinator, Ugbokodo/Oteghelle, on his part said the relationship between his company, Heritage, and Ugbokodo community was cordial, noting that he was in touch with the management of the company, which was  held up as a result of official engagement in Isoko and assured that the management would address the grievances of the community.

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