…demands employment opportunity, empowerment, promotion
An aggrieved Isoko youth group under the aegis of the United Coalition Front Emancipation Movement (UCFEM), has given a 14-day ultimatum to oil companies operating the Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 61, 30 , 26, and 28, to actively involve them in their onshore and offshore production activities.
Mr. Ogbu Ogbu, UCFEM’s spokesman, in a statement signed and released on Tuesday, said the group threatened that the group will shut down operations and attack facilities of the oil companies operating in Isoko land, if their demands are not urgently met through dialogue.
The group therefore gave the two weeks ultimatum to the Shoreline Natural Resources (OML 30), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (OML 61) Heritage Energy (OML 30), Shell Petroleum Development Company (OML 28), and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (OML 26), advising them to peacefully shut down their operations in Isoko land, while they sit with representatives of the people to dialogue on how demands of their host communities can be met, effect from April 11.
While demanding that the operators of the oil wells should organize skills acquisition programmes and empowerment for the Isoko youths with employment opportunities, the community group also requested for the promotion of Isoko indigenes already engaged by the oil companies to the management positions..
“We want the operators of OML 61, 30, 26, and 28 to peacefully shut down operations in Isoko land while our grievances are attended to at a round table discussion,” the group said.
The youth warned that it would not be accountable for any action it takes against any concerned oil company that refuses to comply with this ultimatum.
“Oil and gas multinationals and the NNPC subsidiary operating in Isoko land should heed our warning and advice for a peaceful shutdown of operations till further notice.
“UCFEM will not be blamed for any action taken for the protection of its existence as a people and defense of Isoko land,” it further said.
The group had previously in March 2022, threatened to launch a coordinated attack on oil and gas flow stations, pipelines, trunk lines, and other equipment belonging to the oil companies unless their demands were met.
Lamenting the non-inclusion of the Isoko people (especially its youths) in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme, the group called for the establishment of an Isoko Ethnic Nationality Regional Development Commission, for the fast and efficient human capacity development of the Isoko youth and the Isoko nation.
EnergyDay checks revealed that the Nkpolu Oroworukwo Community in Port Harcourt, a host community to Agip Oil, had also in January 2021, staged a peaceful protest at the company’s operational headquarters requesting the signing of Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) that ensures the community is not neglected by the company in terms of employment, contracts, scholarships, skills acquisition, infrastructure and social amenities.
Recently, Agip declared a ‘Force Majeure’ on its gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in Bonny temporarily halting its gas export due to attacks by vandals on its gas pipelines.