From Chris Anucha, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike has been commended for restoring peace in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State.
The commendation was made in Omoku, yesterday, by ONELGA Host Communities Stakeholders’ Forum, including traditional rulers, chiefs of community development committees and youths in the area.
Briefing newsmen on behalf of the forum, the Chairman, Chief Ekperi Nelson, disclosed how efforts of governor Wike and that of the caretaker committee chairman restored peace in the council.
“We are happy that business activities and social lives have been restored in ONELGA, we are now sleeping with our eyes closed,” he said.
The forum, however, lamented lack of development in ONELGA, which it said produces 56.6 percent of gas to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in Bonny.
He said: “ONELGA has not benefitted from the Federal Government, apart from the Federal College, Omoku, declared as the worst Federal College of Education in Nigeria, in terms of infrastructural projects. More pathetic is the fact that the Eleme petrol-chemical industry, now operated by Indorama, receives 100 percent of its gas feed tuck from the gas produced by NAOC in ONELGA, but no benefit accrues to the council whereas Eleme, the host community of the company enjoys 100 percent equity share of its benefits.”
Nelson explained that ONELGA, which is made up of 97 communities, has contributed to the economic development of the country, and wondered why the federal government still marginalised the area in terms of infrastructure development.
“It is sad to note that with these enormous contributions, we have not received any benefit from both the state and federal governments. Even at that, our peaceful disposition has remained unwavering.
“ONELGA has suffered from environmental pollution and degradation and due to the activities of oil multi-nationals in the area. The main source of livelihood for the people has been devastated by the activities of the oil and gas companies. Our natural sources of drinking water and other domestic uses, have been polluted due to continuous gas flaring and oil spillage,” he added.