Paul Osuyi, Asaba
TO forestall a breach of peace and possible disruption in oil production, Delta State Government has waded into the face-off between Heritage Oil Company and over 112 oil-bearing communities.
The affected communities had issued a seven-day ultimatum to Heritage Oil Company, and its subsidiaries, to vacate its territory or face the wrath of the people.
But, the state government has stepped in, to calm frayed nerves, describing its intervention as a proactive step to avert the socio-economic hazard of possible shutdown of over 90,000 barrel per day oil production in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Peter Mrakpor, while addressing the delegation of the aggrieved community representatives, thanked them for not resorting to violence in driving home their demands.
He explained the process it took the state government to supervise the negotiation process, which, he said, was transparent and painstaking, saying the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) was the collective will of all the parties involved.
Mrakpor, who expressed sadness over the development, however, assured them that government will urgently wade into the matter and would be resolved, as soon as possible; to forestall breach of the peace in the state and disruption of oil production.
The commissioner urged them to maintain the peace and allow the state government to engage the company and bring all parties to a round table discussion.
President General of Ewvreni community, Victor Ohare, who doubles as chairman of Presidents-General Forum of OML 30, during a meeting with the commissioner, accused Heritage of breaching all the terms contained in the GMOU signed between the communities and the oil company.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Water Resources, Fidelis Tilije, has commended the European Union (EU) for its commitment towards the provision of potable water across communities in the state.
Tilije said EU had, so far, funded 333 water schemes in four local government areas of the state, and thanked other international donor agencies, including the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), for their support to the state in its determination to change the face of the water sector.
The commissioner spoke at Olieogo-Umuseti and Obi-Ofu communities in Ndokwa West Local Government Area during the official commissioning of the EU, UNICEF and Delta State government funded water schemes in the two communities.