By Lucky Oji
There are indications that claims by Odimodi and Idiwuni communities over ownership of oil facilities may lead to a communal crisis in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
To avert conflict, the leaders of oil-rich Ogulagha Kingdom, have cautioned Odimodi and Iduwini communities to desist from further claiming ownership of oil facilities they said are exclusively situated in Ogulagha kingdom.
A prominent leader in Ogulagha Kingdom, Chief William Igere, who issued the warning, yesterday, in Warri, said the claim by Odimodi and Idiwuni communities was capable of instigating communal crisis in the area.
Igere disclosed that Ogulagha kingdom had also written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to disregard the false ownership claim of oil facilities in Ogulagha.
His words: ” Odimodi and Idiwuni communities cannot falsely claim what they don’t have, it is an act of ungratefulness and betrayal of trust for the people of Odimodi and Idiwuni to claim ownership of oil facilities that are exclusively situated in Ogulagha Kingdom. We advise the leaders of Odimodi and Idiwuni communities to tread with caution”.
Meanwhile, some leaders in Odimodi and Iduwini communities recently made public statements against the alleged marginalization of their communities by the federal government.
Earlier, in the week, the people of Ogulagha Kingdom wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was signed by Chief William Igere, Chief MacDonald Anoruse, Chief Emmanuel Potoki and nine others.
The letter reads: “For record purposes, all the oil facilities claimed by Odimodi and Idiwuni are in Ogulagha Kingdom. For instance, the Forcados Terminal, on which land it was built was acquired by Shell BP in 1968 from Ogulagha community exclusively, and the acquisition documents are still available with Ogulagha kingdom, SPDC and relevant government agencies. The 48 inches Crude Export Pipeline; 24 inches Trans-Ramos Pipeline; Forcados Tank Farm and Oil Terminal; Agip Beniboye Pipeline; Agip Beniboye Oil wells and clusters are all exclusively situated in Ogulagha kingdom.
”The Water Disposal Line ( WDL), OPL227, OML62, and OML90, these are oil facilities that are rightly and exclusively situated only in Ogulagha kingdom, and not in Odimodi and Iduwini.
”The leaders of Ogulagha kingdom condemn the false claim by Odimodi and Iduwini people. The claim is false, fraudulent, and a deliberate attempt to mislead President Muhammad Buhari.
” Ogulagha kingdom had contact with the Portuguese and British people long before Iduwini people who are strangers in our lands at Burutu, Forcados Odimodi and other villages which they wrongly describe as Odimodi Federated Communities. The Iduwini people are total strangers in Ogulagha lands. The ancestral home of Iduwini people is Amatu in Bayelsa State.”