Ugborodo Federated Communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have given the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and all International Oil Companies operating in its domain a 30 day ultimatum to recognise Ikpere Host Community Development Trust as the adopted trust by the people for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
They said any attempt to scheme out the oil-rich Ugborodo from the implementation of the PIA would be resisted.
The communities, comprising mainly Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho and Ijaghala among other adjoining communities, gave the warning during an enlarged stakeholders meeting held at the Ode-Ugborodo town hall on Saturday.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting convened by the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, Eghare Daniel Uwawah, one of the leaders, Alex Eyengho, who read the resolution of the meeting, maintained that a 30 days ultimatum have been given to Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, others settlors and NUPRC to give recognition to Ikpere Host Community Development Trust as the adopted trust by the people for the implementation of the PIA,
Eyengho said that Ugborodo resolved to “take her destiny in her hands but within the ambit of the law” should the relevant bodies fail to do the needful after the expiration of the ultimatum.
The communique said: “After a robust and extensive General Meeting of the Ugborodo Federated Communities comprising mainly of Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho and Ijaghala, among other adjoining communities, held at Ikpere Hall in Ode-Ugborodo, headquarters of Ugborodo federated communities otherwise know as Ugborodo Community, the people resolved as follows:
“On the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), it was unanimously reaffirmed that the earlier chosen name of Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere HCDT), remains the name the adopted name by Ugborodo Community for the implementation of the PIA.
“That Ugborodo Community remains steadfast on the insistence that the extant laws of the PIA and the accompanying Regulations of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) must be followed religiously in the implementation of the PIA, particularly as it concerns the constitution of members of the Trustees, Management Committee, and Advisory Committee.
“That Ugborodo Community and the NUPRC are on the same page on the all-important issue of adherence to the relevant laws and regulations guiding the implementation of the PIA in all ramifications, and this much has been made known by the NUPRC to the settlors (Chevron, Shell and other international oil companies, IOCs) operating in Ugborodoland.
“The interventions of the Delta State Government in the lingering issue concerning the implementation of the PIA in the Ugborodo Community have been only to the extent of advocating for peace in the area and further advising the Ugborodo Community to settle her internal problems.
“The Ugborodo Community maintains her earlier position already in the public domain that it is not in any way whatsoever going against the Olu of Warri, the Palace, and/or the other Itsekiri communities.
“All the Ugborodo Community has said and still maintained until tomorrow is that the extant laws must be followed religiously in the implementation of the PIA, particularly in Ugborodoland. As a host community, Ugborodo Community is big enough to have its own separate HCDT without prejudice to other host communities in Itsekiriland who may want to be lumped together under one HCDT.
“To this end, and for the purposes of emphasis, the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT), has since been adopted by the good people of Ugborodo Community.
“This is our irreducible position on the issue of the implementation of PIA in the Ugborodo Community.
“We are using this opportunity to give Chevron, Shell, and other setlors operating in Ugborodo Community, and the NUPRC a period of 30 days ultimatum from today, July 29, 2023, within which to follow the extant laws and regulations of the PIA by giving to Ugborodo Community the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere-HCDT), in the overall interest of peace, enabling environment, equity, justice and fair play. After the expiration of this ultimatum, Ugborodo Community shall take her destiny in her hands but within the ambit of the law. A stitch in time saves nine.”
Other leaders of the Ugborodo community at the meeting, who buttressed Eyengho’s submissions included a member of the House of Representatives, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi; Chief Ayirimi Emami; Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo Federated Communities, Eghare-Daniel Uwawah; Isaac Botosan. Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli; a Ugborodo youth leader, Wilson Ejeh; as well as representatives of the communities that make up Ugborodo.
Ereyitomi, who spoke during the general meeting, emphasised that Ugborodo people are not against the King, the Olu of Warri, hence “nobody should use politics of kingship to affect PIA.
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“PIA is a law.
“All Tank Farms have their PIAs.
“The Trust would be briefing the king.
“It is about the kingdom moving on a progressive path.
“Stakeholders, community representatives, Chevron Nigeria Limited and government will look at the needs assessment.
“IRDC (Itsekiri Regional Development Committee) wasn’t a law.
“It was Chevron Nigeria Limited’s policy.
“The Host Community Development Trust (Ikpere) will replace Ugborodo Community Trust.
“The Eghare-Aja has consulted widely.
“PIA is a law.
“We won’t say because of Igbene (internal dispute) we won’t inaugurate the trust (Ikpere Host Community Development Trust).
“We will settle the Igbene.
“You should back the Ikpere Host Community Development Trust/
“Later, we will fix Igbene.
“The law, says 3 percent of the operational cost is for the host communities.”
A foremost Itsekiri leader, Chief Ayirimi Emami, while addressing the large gathering of Ugborodo indigenes, averred that whatever Shell Petroleum Development Company claimed to have done as regards the PIA has nothing to do with Ugborodo.