Saddened by the lopsided structure of the Community Development Board (CDB) of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30, managed by Heritage Operational Energy Service Limited in favour of Urhobo Nation against Isoko Nation which contributes 64% of equity to the OML 30, Isoko youths under the aegis of Isoko National Youth Assembly (INYA) are calling for the immediate dissolution of the existing board and thus, demand the establishment of a separate board for Isoko Nation.
This demand is contained in a message by the INYA through the Director of Media and Strategy, Comr Eniwake Orogun, lamenting that when critical profiting decisions are to be taking, either at the managerial level or by voice vote, predictably, Isoko is grossly disadvantaged but declared that Uhuru is achievable.
INYA deplored that, the first direct consequence of this lopsided representation in the board against the Isoko people is in the leadership structure. “Till date, no Isoko man has ever attained a managerial role, talk more of chairmanship. Most developmental projects and programs are tilted towards a particular direction to the disadvantage of the Isoko nation. We only get remnants from Heritage Operational Energy Services Limited despite contributing majority of equity. The Isoko nation are annoyingly shortchanged in areas of employment, contracts and other social engagements by Heritage Energy.”
The statement as obtained by ASABA METRO further revealed that, The community development board (CDB) was set up to evolve developmental projects and programs for communities which contribute significant amount of crude oil to the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30, managed by Heritage Operational Energy Service Limited. It is constituted in such a manner that every identified community within the setup has a representative in the board. It has a Chairman, managers, as well as ordinary members in the leadership structure. The board is a vestige of the GMoU signed by Heritage with host communities, the state government been a witness. A new GMoU is currently been formulated as the former expired earlier this year.
“Communities in the board consist of those of Urhobo and Isoko ethnic nationalities and membership of the board is drawn only from these two ethnic groups. Whereas Isoko presently contributes 64% of equity to the OML 30 set up while Urhobo contributes 36%, sadly Urhobo has 105 members in the board whereas Isoko with the majority of equity has a membership strength of only 10. It is so because, Urhobo fraudulently represented streets and family heads as communities in the board, Isoko genuinely presented Kingdoms/clans. This led to the multiplicity of representatives of Urhobo ethnicity in the board against Isoko.”
Submitting their demands, INYA said, “as the umbrella body of all youths in Isoko nation, we join forces with the Isoko Development Union (IDU) and other progressives to call on all relevant stakeholders to as a matter of urgency grant our request for a separate Community Development Board (CDB) which will serve the interest of the Isoko people.
We are aware of the connivance of some group of highly placed government officials outside the Isoko borders to thwart this course, fronting the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Sen.(Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, as been against a separate board for Isoko. However, the Governor has vehemently refuted the claim and aptly posited that Isoko has the right to make such demand as the agreement between Heritage must be with the host communities and not government.
“We therefore strongly advise handlers of the new GMoU and Heritage Operational Services Limited to immediately heed the Governor’s position as anything short shall be vehemently resisted by us.
“We also call on all Isoko sons and daughters to join the clamour for a separate board for our dear nation and say caboodle rejectamentum to further oppression.”