Paul Osuyi, Asaba
An Urhobo lobby group in the Niger Delta, Campaign for the Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN), has said that it is not going back on its plans to shut down oil and gas operations in the region following its earlier ultimatum to the Federal Government to address some issues.
The group had issued a 14-day ultimatum on the Federal Government to initiate the fresh process of ceding out the 57 marginal oil field and address issues of gross marginalization of oil multinationals and the government against Urhobo people.
The ultimatum expired last Monday.
Speaking on the development, the president of the group, Olorogun Ese Kakor, said their call for a fresh ceding process of the 57 marginal oil field was necessitated by supposed moves by the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Director-General of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to exclude Urhobo people from the process.
Kakor appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, in the statement, to call his officials in the oil and gas industry to order, accusing them of being the architects of the potentially combustive situation with the capacity to set the entire Niger Delta on fire again.
The group emphasised that a new process will give competent Urhobo men and women the opportunity to participate in oil and gas activities fairly, having ‘endured injustice, since the discovery of crude oil in their lands.’
Other prominent leaders of CATESUN who spoke in the same vein, Olorogun Mathew Uparan aka Odjeku and Chief Emma Shobor, stated that Urhobo nation is host to several oil and gas facilities, including the multi-billion dollars Utorogu Gas Plant, reportedly the biggest in Africa.
‘We are not going back on our threat to shut down operations of International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Urhobo nation, enough of the marginalization,’ they chorused.