… Says FG Pushing Isoko Towards Restiveness
President Muhammadu Buhari is facing an accusation of reneging on his promises of seeing to the development of Isoko Nation as well as appointment of Isoko Sons into government parastatals.
The President General, Isoko Development Union (IDU), High Chief Iduh Amadhe, is accusing the Presidency of gross marginalization and underdevelopment of Isoko nation in the Nigeria Equation.
Addressing newsmen in his Oleh residence, Isoko South Local Area, Iduh said that President Buhari, in a meeting on 18 July 2018 with monarchs and leadership of Isoko Nation, promised to facilitate the completion of several uncompleted projects of Federal government littering Isoko.
According to him, “In December 2015, when I took over leadership of the union from my boss, Rtd. Gen Paul Omu. I went through past record of leadership and requests that they have been continually made to the federal government. I discovered that nothing substantial has been done and we decided that we would take the crusade of Isoko marginalisation to Aso Rock.”
“Precisely, on 18 July 2018, we met President Muhammadu Buhari, we read our address to him and told him what Isoko Nation have been contributing. We also mentioned the period oil was discovered in Uzere which was in 1958 which is the second place oil was discovered in Nigeria after Oloibiri and it went on spreading to so many other communities, Oleh, Olomoro, Igbide, Enhwe, Owvie, Iyerede, Emevor, Ozoro, Irri, Ofagbe Elu, Ovrode and so on. All these are Isoko communities where oil is being produced. And our Isoko community in Bayelsa State, the Okugbe Kingdom, is the only Kingdom that has flow station, I am talking about Osikenike in Sagbama Local Government Area. About seven of our communities that makes up the Okugbe Kingdom which is being ruled by His Royal Majesty Dr. Frank Okorakpo.”
He said, “If you come to Irri, Ofagbe, Oleh and Osekenike, these communities have Agip Company there but what do we get? Nothing! And apart from that, on federal government recognition, we told Mr President that no Isoko man can be pointed out as a director-general, minister or managing director in any ministries, agencies or parastatals not even a chairman of federal board. None!”
Iduh disclosed that the President was shocked over the development status of Isoko and gave his word to critically examine the development question.
“Mr. President promised us publicly that this whole thing was wrong and he is going to correct it. He asked where were we that we did not make noise? But I said no, do we have to kill somebody or blow all the pipeline before he would recognise us? We told Mr President that we the Isoko Nation should be rewarded for our peaceful nature. That we have not blown up all the pipelines and kidnap people does not mean that the Isoko youths cannot do it but the Isoko youths are refined, they went to school, they have respect for the law, so if we can contribute so much to the federal government, please, Mr President, reward us. And he promised that he was going to reward us.”
“Aba kyari, Chief of staff, all of them were there. They heard everything we said and promised that they would handle two roads for us after that visit because we told them that during the military era, projects were abandoned from Emede to Oteri -Igbide to Uzere during the war. Another project from Ofagbe through, Onogboko and other places were also abandoned and up till now the federal government has not come to take the project over.”
The President General, also stated that the Federal Government seem rudderless on the decision to cut gas flaring with a call on the Federal Government to revisit the management of gas flaring in areas where oil exploration is going on.
He decried the health hazards the flared gas pose to residents of these areas in the face of epileptic power supply that the gas can easily be converted to.
“I tell you today that the most painful aspect of my administration is that we have not been able to find a solution to electricity for our people. Governor has always suggested that the gas flarings would be converted to electricity. Soot accompanies our rainwater. That is to tell you the extent to which our people are suffering.”
“Cancer is so common in our communities, skin diseases and even stroke that used to be a thing for old people as from 70 years and above is common among our younger ones. So we are indeed, suffering from the crude oil exploration. There is nothing for the people to enjoy. We should have been happy that at least God gave us oil and we are getting light because of the oil we have but no. Even if you go to Irri for example, the gas there is being pumped to Okpa and the electricity generated is serving Anambra. So you can see the insult. Even when we have flow station in Uzere, Igbide, Oleh Olomoro, Ozoro and other neighbouring communities.” He lamented.