By ELO EDREMODA,
Host communities to Oil Mining Lease (OML) 150 have issued a 21-day ultimatum to Conoil Producing Limited, operators of the Obodo Field in Delta State to begin negotiation with the Comrade Monday Agbeyi-led Communities Consultative Forum.
Should the oil firm ignore the warning, it would be evicted from the area, the communities threatened.
The ultimatum was contained in a statement by the forum’s chairman , Comrade Monday Agbeyi, who accused the company of unwillingness to stop using a divide-and-rule tactics in dealing with its hosts.
Indigenes of the seven host communities of OML 150 stormed the Conoil Obodo Field in Delta State, bringing all activities to a halt in a peaceful protest last weekend.
Bearing placards with inscriptions which include “Conoil answer Monday Agbeyi exco or leave our land,” the protesters vowed not to leave the premises and also allow any worker into the site until the company listens to them and begin immediate engagement with the chosen leadership.
The communities embarked on a similar protest to the Obodo Field over the issue on June 9.
The communities through a statement warned Conoil not to misconstrue their peaceful disposition for cowardice.
He declared that the communities were ready to use all within their means to ensure justice in their land.
He praised the Palace of the Olu of Warri, for backingt the Monday Agbeyi led exco.
He expressed sadness that the management of Conoil Producing Limited still want to undermine the authority of the Palace of the Olu of Warri and the host communities by refusing to open discussion with the legally constituted executive .
“It beats our imagination that after the peace meeting organised by the Palace of the Olu of Warri on Thursday, 17th June 2021, which was duly attended by Conoil Producing Limited and the Comrade Monday Agbeyi led executive was duly presented as the right executive to oversee the affairs of the forum, the company still maintains its old fashioned stand.
“The impunity has grown to the extent that the management of the company no longer has any iota of regard for the landlord communities, the Olu of Warri and the Delta State Government.
“In spite of the various letters written by the trio to ensure dialogue for a peaceful co-existence, the company seems to be adamant and resort to divide-and-rule strategy”.
A letter dated June 17, addressed to Conoil’s management and signed by the regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, the Iyatsere, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe and director of the Olu of Warri Palace Administration, Chief Clement Maleghemi, directed all dues accrued to OML 150 since January 2021 to be paid to the Monday Agbeyi-led executive.