Dr Michael Tidi has advised the Movement for the Development of Itsekiri Oil/Gas Producing Communities (MDIOGPC), to engage Federal Government in a dialogue in its agitation over alleged marginalisation of the communities.
Tidi, the Chairman, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta, gave the advice in a statement issued to newsmen on Monday in Warri.
He also advised them against alleged threat to shut down operations of oil companies in their domain, noting that dialogue was the best option to resolving issues.
The aggrieved group had recently at different fora threatened to ground operations of the oil companies over perceived marginalisation by the federal government and the oil companies in job placement.
The council boss noted that executing the alleged threat in the face of the current global economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 would further deplete the revenue profile of the Federal and State Governments.
He added that the development would by implication reduce government’s financial strength to address their genuine agitation.
“The world has been watching:
“The peaceful protests by the Itsekiri group over the unfair deprivation of the Modular Floating Dockyard for training of students of the Nigerian Maritime University.
“The legitimate demand for the resumption of construction work at the Gas Revolution Industrial Park project (GRIP), in Warri South-West.
“The world knows it is unconscionable to deny the oil-producing people, Oil Mining Licenses (OML), and Marginal Fields generously given to others to their exclusion,” he said.
Tidi said that the Federal Government had awarded electrification project that would benefit about 50 communities in the Escravos area adding that work was ongoing but at a slow pace.
He, however, called for a sustained dialogue by members of the MDIOGPC as well as other critical stakeholders from Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas with the Federal Government.
He said that this was “to urgently fix issues of ocean surge, environmental degradation, land reclamation and lack of other basic infrastructures plaguing the oil and gas producing/riverine communities of the three local government areas”.
It will be recalled that Ijaws in Gbaramatu Kingdom and their neighbours, the Itsekiris, had on Sunday July 12, held a joint news conference in Warri.
At the conference they threatened to ground oil facilities in their domain should the federal government fail to accede to their demands.
The demands were the facilitation of the abandoned age-long Omadino-Escravos Road and the Koko/Ogheye Road Projects, resumption of work at the abandoned GRIP and the Deep-Sea Port among others.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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