Abandoned project: Delta communities shut flow station in protest

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From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Aggrieved indigenes of Ovwevwe and Opherin communities in Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State on Monday shut down the flow station in the Eriemu oil field.

The indigenes are peeved by the continued abandonment of road projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over one decade.

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Armed with placards of various inscriptions, the protesters mainly women and youths, barricaded the access roads to the Eriemu flow station.

Inscriptions on some of the placards were “Good road is our right as host communities”, “We have the biggest Manifold in Africa”, “Flow Station, NGC, 52 Oil Wellhead”, “3 Lact Unit Campsite yet no road”, “11-kilometre road is not too small for Federal Government of Nigeria to complete”.

They vowed never to give up on the protest until their agitations for a good road were met.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Community Development Committee chairman of Eriemu field, Moses Oruruore said they decided to embark on the peaceful demonstration “because of the road that has been abandoned since 2010, we have written several letters to NDDC, and the contractor handling the project all to no avail, hence the peaceful protest today.”

He described the roads as the one running from Otokutu community to Owevwe Street, Agbarha-Otor and the other from Saniko community junction, through Opherin community to Emevor Agbarha road.

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President-General of Saniko community, Vote Iboyi said since 1961 when “the first oil wellhead was discovered in Ovwevwe axis and since that time till now many oil well heads have been discovered, the biggest manifold in Africa is located in Eriemu field owned by Ovwevwe.

“We have 3 Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) unit, the flow station and voluminous pipeline but our road that was awarded by the Federal Government through the NDDC have been abandoned since 2010.

“We from the Ovwevwe axis are on this peaceful protest to notify the Federal Government about our plight that we are not happy.

“Some people are using N100 million to buy form to become president of the country while our roads are abandoned, we are not happy, we are producing, we are the Kuwait of Agbarha-Otor but we don’t have good roads.

“The roads we are calling the Federal Government to construct for us is from Saniko through Ovwevwe to Emevor in Isoko North, and Otokutu, Ovwevwe to Agbarha-Otor as we cannot be producing and at the same time be suffering.”

Also speaking, Mrs Loveth Eguke disclosed that they have been suffering in their various communities due to a lack of roads, portable drinking water and electricity.

“We can not go to the stream to get water because the oil has polluted it and the oil companies are not helping us.

“We will not leave the road until our voices are heard, just as we are pleading with the Federal Government to come to our aid,” she pleaded.