ELECTRICITY: DELTA GOVT AGAIN APPEALS TO KOKODIAGBENE COMMUNITY TO MAINTAIN PEACE *** COMMUNITY THREATENS TO PULL OUT OF GMOU WITH CHEVRON
By Tejiri Ebikeme
THE Delta State Government has once waded into the recent protest over electricity against Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) by the people of Kokodiagbene Community, Gbaramatu Kingdom Warri South West Local Government Area of the State, appealing to the oil rich Community to maintain the peace.
The people of oil rich Kokodiagbene community recently staged a peaceful protest to the Chevron run Utonana flowstation demanding for electricity supply to the community and capped their protest with a 14– day ultimatum to the company.
The Community had raised the alarm over alleged plan by American oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to clamp down on leaders of the community over their recent demand for electricity supply from the company and implored the State Government to call the company to order.
It would be recalled that on Monday, February, 20, 2017, the State Government invited some of the leaders of the Community to Asaba for a meeting with a view of resolving the issue.
The meeting, chaired by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Festus Ovie Agas in his office, started at about 2. 30pm and was rounded up at 3.45pm.
But determined to resolve the crisis between Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and the Community, the State Government, again held another meeting with both parties on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Asaba, the State Capital.
It was gathered that the meeting held in the office of the State Deputy Governor was presided over by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ovie Festus Agas on behalf of the Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro. The meeting started at about 11:48am and was rounded up at 1:30pm.
Our Correspondent gathered from a reliable source that the State Government once again pleaded with the people of Kokodiagbene Community for time to engage top management of Chevron Nigeria Limited on the lingering matter.
According to the source;” State government still appealed to Kokodiagbene community to be patient that government will engage top management staff of Chevron Nigeria Limited to resolve this issue”.
It was gathered that the representatives of the Community, led by the Chairman, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, expressed total displeasure over alleged delay tactics being applied by the oil giant, especially in sending lower officers as representatives, saying the Company was using the method to buy time.
According to the source, the Community stated categorically that they were running out of time, claiming that the Company was playing game with them and re-emphasized that no amount of security presence will prevent them from relocating to the Chevron operated Utonana Flowstation soon .
Our source said that;”If Chevron continues to hide under Gmou, we will not hesitate to pull out of it because it cannot form a barrier or a basis for Chevron to anchor on to say they cannot be directly involved in supply of electricity to us. Now Chevron is claiming that they are afraid that if Kokodiagbene Community is given electricity from the Utonana Flowstation, other host communities will make demand on them for same thing, but we rejected and refused this their position”.
It was also gathered that the Chevron team led by Tony Emegere, Acting Area Manager, West, insisted that the Community should wait for the FG- NNPC Gas Turbine projects being planned for the area.