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Conoil Threatening Our Peace, Security, Ijaw Community Cries Out

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The Asere, Arogbo Ijaw community in Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Ondo State has cried out to the federal government that Conoil Producing Limited is stoking grave threat to peace and security in the oil rich area.

 

This was contained in a statement by leaders of the communities by Chairman, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Ondo State Chapter, Hon. Bonsuwe Ominidougha; Chairman, INC Lagos State Chapter, Pastor Ebitimi Dio- Posibi and Chairman, Arogbo-Ijaw Community Organisation (AICO), Dr. James Ashida.

 

The community leaders called the federal government “to come to the rescue of the jolted communities.”

 

The leaders alleged that Conoil Producing Limited “is forcing itself into operations in the area without adherence to the procedures and regulations guiding the Petroleum Industry Act.”

 

They said the exploration of oil in their environment by the oil firm has caused serious threat to peace and security in the area.

 

They cried out that Conoil Producing Limited blatantly refused to directly negotiate with landowners (the Asere community) which is host to the oil company’s planned operations despite all efforts.

 

They added that the action had generated a lot of protests, which have been countered with brutal use of force and intimidation.

 

They warned that the tactics deployed by the company to arrest, detain and brutalize protesters who are sons and daughters of the community constitute a threat to peace.

 

The statement stressed that all the efforts and several attempts to resolve the issues raised by the leaders of the communities were ignored.

 

The leaders added that their attempts “to meet with Conoil Producing Limited at its headquarters in Lagos were met with utter disdain and hostile rejections.

 

“We want to notify the Nigerian Government and the world at large that Conoil Producing Limited’s Impending Oil Operations in Asere Community, Arogbo-Kingdom, Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Ondo State has constituted threats to peace and security

 

“This is necessitated by the company’s Fire Brigade Approach without due process. It is very curious and surprising that Conoil Producing Limited is about forcing its way into operations without fulfilling the necessary procedures and regulations guiding the Petroleum Industry as contained in the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 with particular reference to sections 251 and 252 of the Act which state as follow:

 

“The Conoil Producing Limited has not directly negotiated with Land Owners, the Host Community (Asere Community). This has generated a lot of protests, which have been countered by arrests, and the use of naked and brute force against protesters

 

“That up till today there is no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in place. The EIA must be done by the Department Of Petroleum Resources (DPR) certified consultants which involve the DPR Representatives, Federal Ministry Of Environment, Land Owners and the immediate community

 

“That there is no memorandum of understanding with land owners, the host community and the larger community in specific terms. That there is no freedom to operate agreement which involves the Land Owners, immediate community, Access communities, and the larger community.”

 

“As these unpalatable situations came to the fore, we, under the auspices of Ijaw National Congress, Ondo State Chapter, Ijaw National Congress, Lagos State Chapter and Arogbo-Ijaw Community Organisation as leaders of our people made several attempts to resolve the issues raised but all to no avail

 

“Our attempts to meet with Conoil Producing Limited at its headquarters in Lagos were greeted with utter disdain and hostile rejections. As a result of this, we hereby submit that Conoil Producing Limited should suspend its planned operations in Asere community pending when all the issues mentioned above are amicably resolved.

 

“We call on all authorities concerned to give this cry the needed urgent attention and prevail on Conoil Producing Limited to settle with the stakeholders before its operations in order not to cause disaffection, confusion and conflict in our communities.”

Culled from THISDAY

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