-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Michael EKOKORUWE:
THE women from Oleh, Olomoro and Emede Communities in OML 30 Cluster 5, have staged a peaceful protest against Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited over the non release of cluster 5 management committee 2019 and 2020 projects administrative funds, contractor and capacity building scheme.
The protesters baricaded the road to Oleh / Olomoro flow station, Isoko South local government area of Delta State, chanting songs over negligence and abandonment by the firm.
They also displayed plarcads with various inscriptions as “Heritage Pay Us Our GMou Funds”, “Heritage Pay Our Capacity Building Scheme”, “Oleh, Olomoro and Emede demand the release of their Community projects funds”, ” Chisa Otopa must go”, “No Operation without the payment of the GMou funds”, “Heritage is not fit to be an oil company”, and “Heritage do not cause problem to cluster 5”.
Speaking to newsmen, Mrs. H. O. Obrogo, Mrs. Grace Ikelegbe and Mrs. Ewoma Ochewru, from Emede, Olomoro and Oleh communities respectively, berated Heritage oil firm and described the situation as unbearable, noting that over eight months salaries of indigenous staffs have not been paid, saying “let Heritage leave our land, we don’t want them again, your tenancy has expired, pay us our demand or we quence the fire”.
The women maintained that the projects funds for 2019 and 2020 meant for the development of various communities have not been paid, adding that contractor and staffs are suffering due to over delayed accumulated wages.
The protesters declared that “Heritage Must Go” because their children are suffering negligence and abandonment by Heritage oil firm.
Also speaking, the President General of Olomoro Community, Mr. Samuel Edafewotu decried Heritage lacadistical attitude towards the GMou funds, stating that OML 30 Cluster 8 and 9 funds has been paid, just as Heritage withheld Cluster 5 development funds.
He noted that the affected communities have complained to the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice Delta State, who gave 7 days ultimatum to Heritage oil firm to pay the GMou funds, but the firm remained recalcitrant.
He maintained that the General Manager of Heritage said, the problem is from Lagos Head Office of the company. Saying “We want Lagos to respond to us on how the funds will be paid, or else we shall remain here to shut down the flow station”.
Adding that the peaceful disposition of Cluster 5 communities have been jeopadized by the company.
The chairman of OML 30 Cluster 5 and Chairman Community Development Committee, Chief Obaro Ekokobe and the President General of Emede Community, Dr. Okah Avah explained that it wasn’t the intention of the women to baricade the entrance to the company, but as a result of Heritage neglegence to the host communities.
Obaro stated that the 2019 and 2020 GMou funds were wrongly paid by shoreline and SPDC into a separate account and could not be accessed by the Cluster 5 management committee.
He added that a suit of summon from Oleh High Court restraining himself and seven others was received in the process but was later struck out on 15th of February 2021 due to ambiguity.
Obaro maintained that several other attempts were made to ensure that the funds were paid, but Heritage has not responded, which according to him, led to the protests. He reiterated that Heritage neglegence to the host communities will be resisted until the funds are paid.