8th September, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
There is palpable tension in Ugu communities of Orhionmwon local government area of Edo State, as the people have threatened to stop oil and gas exploration in their communities, over alleged “incessant marginalisation” in appointment by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This is even as they issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the withdrawal of the immediate reversal of the appointment of the state representative on the Board of the NDDC, Patrick Asowieren because his nomination is not their wish.
The people, in a petition addressed to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Adams Oshiomhole, accused the NDDC of undermining and oppressing the oil and gas communities in the State.
According to them, “The reason why Edo State is called a member of NDDC is because of the oil & gas community and these communities are not well-represented on the appointment of NDDC.
“Edo State has the largest gas deposit in the whole of West Africa. It is located in Oben, in the Orhionmwon local government area.
“We are demanding the immediate reversal of the nomination of Hon Patrick Asowieren as a member of the board of NDDC. That Hon. Asowieren’s nomination is not the wish of the people. Hon. Asowieren’s nomination is not in compliance with the provision of section 12(1) of the NDDC (Establishment) Act 2000.
“The aforementioned Act clearly stated that the nominee for the position of any state representative shall be an indigene of oil producing area. They said Hon Asowieren is not an indigene of oil producing area of Edo State.
“We are calling on Mr. President to do the needful and withdraw the nomination of Hon. Asowieren with immediate effect. We are giving a 48 hours ultimatum else we shall stop the exploration of gas and oil in our communities.”