By Emmanuel Elebeke
The people of Ekeremor constituency 2 and other host communities for the Atala Oil field has urged the new owners of the Atala Oil field, OML 46 to urgently start operation and bring the long awaited dividends to the host communities.
In a statement signed by the member representing Ekeremor Constituency 2 and Deputy Minority Leader in Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Wilson Ayakpo Dauyegha, the host communities congratulated the new owners of the OML 46 and urged them to, as a matter of urgency commence operation to assuage the anger of the people occasioned by the long years of deprivation and injustice meted by the former operator.
They noted that the people of Ekeremor constituency 2 and other host communities have been short-changed since the discovery of the Atala Oil Field, and yet did not resort to hostility because they were hopeful of better things to come.
The group said the unproductiveness of the Atala Oil field since its discovery in 1982 and its subsequent award of exploration license in 2003 has been a thing of dwindling hope as it has been decades of hopeful waiting, owing to the fact that the BOCL failed to deliver on her responsibilities and as such we have lost trust in her.
They warned that the the operating company should no longer delay in the commencement of operation because the patience of the people of Ekeremor constituency 2 is running out as time wasted is resultant to wasted opportunities and further deprivation for them.
They noted that the recent calls for cancellation of the license to a new oil exploration company by the Bayelsa State Government and the IYC is not only insensitive, unnecessary, irresponsible but will only incite unrest amongst the host communities whom have been patient for so long.
This they said will ultimately lead to further delay and more unproductive years which will ultimately succeed in further short-changing us of the long anticipated dividends.
They posited that the Bayelsa State Government should as a matter of urgency congratulate the newly licensed exploration company and avail them the enabling environment to thrive, as her current position is also misleading.
The host communities further advised the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC to remain apolitical in matters of such, as it negatively affects its reputation and motive as a pressure group for development.
Rather it depicts the Youth Body as a tool of government, as all through the years of its unproductiveness, the youth body never thought it necessary to urge the previous owners to do the needful as the host communities were at the losing end of it.
While applauding the Federal Government for doing the needful by awarding the Atala Oil Field to an indigenous oil Exploration Company, the group said any other decision would have been perceived as utter neglect towards the interest of the host communities.