- Posted by Editor
- On May 13, 2019
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- Chief Victor Emuobosa Ohare, OML 30
OML30 crisis: Protesters shut down Heritage operations
By Williams Ode
NO less than 90,000 barrels of Nigeria’s daily crude oil output is currently under threat as hundreds of angry protesters from OML 30 host communities took over accesses into the premises of the Ughelli Pump Station (UPS) in Eruemukohwarien, Ughelli North council area of Delta state recently.
The protesters waving green leaves and carrying placards with different inscriptions were also chanting anti Heritage Energy Ltd slogans as they marched through the main road in Eruemukohwarien before finally taken over the company’s premises.
The protesters made up of aged women and youths, also vowed to occupy the premises of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited, until the company sends its top management staff from its headquarters in Lagos to address them and pay attention to their long standing grievances.
Among other things, the protesters are demanding the immediate release of the agreed development funds for years 2016, 2018 and 2019 to the Community Development Board (CDB), employment of graduates and other categories of labour hands from the 112 communities that are hosts to OML 30 facilities, payment of 2017 and 2018 community salaries as well as the immediate relocation of the operational headquarters of the company to core operational areas of OML 30.
Addressing newsmen at the scene of the protest, the Clusters Chairman of President-Generals’ Forum of OML 30 communities, Chief Victor Emuobosa Ohare, said the communities had been agitating for their rights for the past five years, and Heritage Operations has been paying them deaf ears hence the host communities had resolved that they would not end the protest until all issues are addressed.
He said ,”to guarantee operations of OML 30, Heritage Energy must ensure it pays all outstanding 2014 to 2016 scholarship funds to beneficiaries,” adding that the company must commence employment of graduates and other categories of labour from the communities, as well implement staff audit without delay.
When reached for comments on the development, the Chairman of the OML 30 Community Development Board (CDB), Hon Morris Idiovwa, attributed the situation to the failure of the company to act timely, charging Heritage Energy and her JV partners to do more to take the doubts in the hearts of the people away, even as his board and the leaderships of the communities continue to engage the people for dialogue.
“We will continue to talk to our people throughout the communities to continue to allow us interface on their behalf and get a properly beneficial results out for them.
“We will also charge Heritage and the J.V partners to ensure that they avoid difficult situations like this. They need to charge up those they have committed responsibilities to, especially community relations, to do more than they currently do”, he said.
Responding on behalf of the company, Mr. Sylvester Okoh, General Manager, Community Relations of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited, said he was sure that the issue would be resolved promptly, noting that some of the issues raised had been addressed already.