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Oil And Gas Companies Have Neglected Ekpeye Land – Comrade Dogini

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By Oyagiri Chime

The National Chairman of Ekpeye Oil and Gas – Pipelines Host Families Association (EOG), Comrade Chidi Dogini, has bemoaned the negligence of the ethnic nationality by multinational oil companies (MNOCs) operating in the area.

Comrade Chidi, who stated this in an exclusive interview with Boch News , disclosed that the essence of his association was to amicably correct the ills suffered by the people over the years.

“What we intend to achieve is to make sure that we interface with various companies situated in Ekpeye Ethnic nation in a bid to ameliorate the sufferings of our people over the years”, he declared.

Dogini lamented that the area hosts about seven oil companies, but has nothing to show for it, and wondered why the companies’ presence would attract poverty and crisis, instead of comfort.

He equally frowned at the seeming neglect of the youths that are the bedrock of the future.

“If any society must develop, they must build the youths, hence, we stepped in to stop the anomaly . Since there is a gap created by the company on one side and our people on the other side. We are poised to address the lack of empowerment and acquisition of skills amongst our youths. Our youths must have a new lease of life”, he stressed.

The EOG chairman further stated that the association being relatively new, has made several achievements, though, hampered by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

He vowed to always look into burning challenges that would deprive Ekpeye youths of development.

On the issue of oil bunkering, Dogini explained that his association had sought audience with the oil companies to enable them proffer solutions on ways to ending the menace.

He said, “We have taken it upon ourselves to write to the various companies that we want to address this issue. We have put in place arrangements to also go round the various communities in a deliberate attempt to proffer a lasting solution to the prevailing circumstance.

“Ekpeye Oil and Gas (EOG), has mandated its Taskforce Units in the various kingdoms to go into the Creeks and forests to initiate talks with those who indulge in illegal petroleum exploitation activities to desist from it, but it has not been accomplished based on the companies uncooperative attitude to end the activities in preference to fighting it.

“I wonder why there have been no support or refusal to discuss by the companies for us to save our land from depletion, extermination and extinction from mother earth.

“The oil and gas communities are over sixty five, which means the entire ethnic nation is involved. We want to sensitize them on the inherent dangers associated with what they are doing. Ekpeye land is already being polluted over the years, based on the excessive emission of carbon dioxide caused by its exploration activities”, he pointed out.

According to the activist, “Annual Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report must be given global attention to save our people from looming dangers. In the month of March, 2020, the impact and effect of the companies activities struck on the people of Ugbobi, Igbuduya and Upata Kingdoms, where earth tremor (slight earthquake) was experienced”, he revealed.

Dogini expressed surprise that till date, none of the oil companies has positively responded to them to discuss the weighty issues raised, instead, prefer using the military to intimidate, oppress and suppress the legitimate voice of the people against injustice.

He called on the companies to do the needful by engaging bodies that represent the people in dialogue than playing the ostrich, adding that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

The chairman also complained on the companies negligence on replacement of old, rustic pipes that are long overdue.

“What we are saying is that your facility is being destroyed, why the lackadaisical attitude towards looking for a permanent solution. The companies should stop the tricks of making money at the expence of our people. It gives us much concern as a people. It affects our land, crops no longer grow and there is no good drinking water for our people,” Dogini lamented.

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