By KELVIN OHOROR, OLEH
An aggrieved Isoko group has given a 14-day ultimatum to Heritage Energy Oil Services Limited, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and other oil companies operating in the area to shut down their operations and begin to address their demands with immediate effect.
The group, under the aegis of the United Coalition Front Emancipation Movement (UCFEM), gave the warning in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Mr. Ogbu Ogbu, and made available to newsmen in Warri, Delta State, insisting that the ultimatum to shut down their facilities took effect from Monday, April 11, 2022.
The group, which expressed concern that the multinational oil companies had neglected the entire Isoko land, said if the companies fail to accede to their requests its members would launch attacks on their installations in the area, The Trumpet gathered.
It would be recalled that the youths of the area had in March 2022 threatened to launch coordinated attacks on oil and gas flow stations, pipelines, trunk lines and other equipment, if the companies refused to meet their demands.
Among other things, the youths are calling for the engagement of Isoko youths in the onshore and offshore platforms of the oil companies, promotion of the few Isoko sons and daughters working with them into management positions, as well as organise intensive training of the people on various skills acquisition programmes.
“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 Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NNPC), NAOC, Heritage Energy Oil Services Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and First Hydro should shut down their operations peacefully in Isoko land and address our concerns,” it said.
They warned that oil and gas multinationals operating in Isoko land should heed their advice for a peaceful shut down of operations until further notice and called for the establishment of an Isoko Ethnic Nationality Regional Development Commission for urgent and efficient human capacity development of Isoko youths and the area.
They also decried the non-inclusion of Isoko people in the Federal Government’s Presidential Amnesty Programme which, according to them, had denied the youth of empowerment, engagement, training, and other benefits accruing from the programme.
Meanwhile, the Community Relations Officer of Heritage Energy Service Limited, Williams Ebieroma, told The Trumpet that certain cadre of employees were not allowed to speak on the issue, saying: “We are not allowed to discuss issues like this with the press. We have our media consultant based in Lagos, who handles such issues.”