The oil-rich Ugborodo community in Delta State’s Warri South-West Local Government Area today protested Chevron Nigeria Limited, demanding that the oil company engage in discussion with them and denouncing the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Daniel Uwawah, the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, led the community’s natives in the demonstrations.
The Ugborodo federated communities’ Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho, and Ijaghala villages’ nonviolent demonstrators surrounded Chevron’s yard there.
The demonstrators carried signs that said, “We want our PIA as host communities. Ugborodo,” “All contracts including local content should be submitted to the community through the designated organ,” “Enough with Chevron’s policies of divide and rule.”
The villages complained about a variety of things, including a lack of clean water, electricity, a hospital, and a school, as well as the unemployment of their young people.
The Eghare-Aja, represented by the Igbajoh of Ugborodo Prince Terry Atete, said that they had written many letters to the multinational oil firm requesting it to engage in talks with them in accordance with the PIA Act, but that the business had rejected their requests.
Prince Atete asserted that the community’s action was a nonviolent protest and that Chevron had received a letter from the Ugborodo community on the PIA over the awarding of contracts and employment. Chevron was charged with obstinately refusing to cooperate.
Prince Atete stated that Ugborodo is an independent village and added, “We are not under anybody. We are independent, thus the IOC should visit and speak with the host communities directly about the PIA problem, as indicated. However, [Chevron] has thus far declined to respond.
According to Prince Atete, the residents of the Ugborodo hamlet decided to stage a nonviolent demonstration in order to make their demands known.
He said, “We are criticising the PIA procedure. We are advocating for the corporation to engage in direct communication with the neighbourhood.
They have not done this. We are stating that we won’t accept it unless they visit and discuss it with us in light of the aforementioned concerns.
“Look at our communities, look everywhere, a community gushing with so much wealth,” he concluded. You are abusing our property. Simply said, we’re asking for a little. You reject. We won’t accept it, sorry. Look at the shore; the neighbourhood is nearly completely gone. Nothing. Not working. No job. We won’t accept it, sorry.
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The community’s female head, Oritsematosan Nuko, backed up the Eghare-Aja’s assertions in a conversation with reporters.
She pleaded with Chevron and the federal government to support and stabilise the Ugborodo community.
She said that local residents are being driven out of the area by tidal floods.
Nuko asserted that Chevron is aware of their suffering and continued, “They declined to come. No one is employing our kids. No business, no contracts, no employment. We are just taking care of ourselves.
She believed that the community’s position would change if Chevron engaged in dialogue with them in accordance with the PIA.
“At this time, there is nothing. There is no water here, and the light is unstable. 25 litres of water cost N100 when we used to buy it. Although Chevron is our tenant, she complained that they were treating her poorly.