The continued negligence of the economic and social wellbeing of the people of the Ndoshimili Indigenous People of Ndokwa East, NIPONE, in Delta State, has reached a fever pitch as the people have decided to challenge the authorities and oil companies operating in the area, if their demands are not addressed within two weeks.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr. Olise Imegwu, Secretary, Dr. Adaobi Ugbomeh and seven others, the people of Ndoshimili, stated that “it is painful to note that although our communities are awash with oil wells, the ownership of which have been given to other people. We have also been denied the benefits of being host to oil, gas and Independent Power Plant. We, as a people have today, resolved to take immediate steps to right these wrongs.”
The statement listed the demands to include the immediate provision of adequate funding and commencement of the Asaba-Oko-Utchi-Aboh-Abalagada-Patani Coastal Road; immediate provision of electricity to all the communities in Ndokwa East; that the Federal Government direct oil and gas exploration companies in the LGA to relocate and maintain operational administrative offices in the area.
While demanding that the right of first refusal be given “to our qualified sons and daughters regarding employment positions in all the oil and gas companies operating in NELGA in the spirit of local content principle”, the statement insisted on the repair of “all roads used by oil and gas companies and their vehicles.”
Calling for the immediate dredging of the River Niger and adjourning rivers in Ndokwa East to curtail the recurrent flooding of the communities, they demanded for the installation of shoreline protection along the bank of the River Niger.
“We are calling for the immediate dredging of the River Niger, and adjourning Rivers in Ndokwa East, and installation of shoreline protection in all our communities on the bank of the River Niger to prevent the annual devastation from flooding of the river.”
According to the statement, “it is very unfortunate that the oil and gas companies have over the years refused to pay tenement rate to NELGA/host communities. We hereby demand the companies to make their payments up to date.”
The statement also requested that all oil and gas companies provide evidence of MoU compliance for operating in NELGA; that all abandoned NDDC projects be completed immediately; an end to the “practice of some people sitting in Abuja or Asaba to decide what is good for our communities or who will represent our interests, this approach must stop” among other demands.
They stressed that the people of the area can no longer sit and watch the lives of their being people destroyed, as the injustice had pushed them to a point of resistance to protect their lives.