EPZ: Delta Community Threaten to Disrupt Operations of Multinationals

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Aggrieved Ijaw community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state have threatened to disrupt activities of multinationals in their land over their exclusion in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project.

The community accused Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of sidelining them in the purported resolution of the crisis trailing the project.

President Goodluck Jonathan had asked the stakeholders to resolve their difference over the project to enable him perform the ground breaking.

The Ijaw of Gbaramatu Kingdom and Itsekiri of Ugborodo had agreed to sheath their sword in a peace meeting last week.

The meeting had agreed that the Gas City would be named after Ogidigben, an Itsekiri enclave while the Deep Sea Port would be name after Gbaramatu.

Uduaghan had earlier met with arrow head in the EPZ crisis, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) and Chief Ayiri Emami over the need to give peace a chance.

But leaders of Ogulagha kingdom, an Ijaw Kingdom in Burutu said it was unfair to exclude them in the $16billion project.

The aggrieved community vowed to frustrate the proposed March 15, ground breaking ceremony.

Speaking for the Ogulagha people, Chief Williams Igere, the Bolou-wei of Ogulagha kingdom said that they have rejected the purported resolution by the government.

According to him, Ogulagha in Burutu local government have 50% of the land hosting the EPZ project.

He wondered why President Jonathan, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and NNPC never considered the Ogulagha people in taking the renaming decision.

Igere, threatened that Ogulagha people shall disrupt the operations of Chevron, SPDC, Agip and Britiani-U in the area should the Federal Government and NNPC refuses to acknowledge them as host to the project.

According to him, the state government had earlier recognize Ogulagha as host to the project.

“Interestingly, the peace committee set up by Governor Uduaghan, which was led by the Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama recognized Ogulagha as major stakeholder and co-host to the project”.

He said that the exclusion of Ogulagha in the peace parlay was a ploy to scheme them out of the project adding that they would resist the “injustice”.

“The meeting held by President Jonathan with only the Itsekiris of Ugborodo and Ijaws of Gbaramatu at Asaba, was a clear indication to neglect Ogulagha, we shall resist the injustice and we are very much ready to truncate the project”, he threatened.

“We shall not allow the state government concede Ogulagha land in Burutu to Warri South-West, we have vowed to fight against it. We rather die to secure our God given land”, he vowed.

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