The Delta State Government has waded into the faceoff between Heritage Oil Company and over 112 oil bearing communities in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30.
Recalls that the affected host communities had issued a 7-day ultimatum to Heritage Oil Company and its subsidiaries to vacate its territory or face the wrath of the people.
But meeting with the delegation of the aggrieved community representatives, the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor Esq said that the state government would urgently wade into the matter and possibly resolve it to forestall breach of peace and disruption of oil production.
A statement by Ivovi Aruoriwo, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Justice, quoted Mr. Mrakpor as saying that if the host communities had carried out their threat, there could have been socio economic hazard of a possible shutdown of over 90,000 barrel per day oil production in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30.
He therefore thanked the host communities for not resorting to violence in driving home their demands, while appealing to them to maintain the peace and allow the state government to engage the company and bring all parties to a round table discussion.
Mrakpor however explained the process it took the state government to supervise the GMoU negotiation which he said was transparent and painstaking, saying that the memorandum was the collective will of all the parties involved.
Earlier, the President General of Ewvreni Community, Chief Victor Ohare who also doubles as the Chairman of President Generals Forum of OML 30, accused Heritage of breaching all the terms contained in the GMoU signed between the communities and the oil company.
Chief Ohare who led other President Generals to the Attorney-General’s office on Monday, April 22, also accused Heritage Oil and its subsidiaries of using security agencies to intimidate, harass and suppress their genuine agitations.
He listed some of the atrocities of the company to include none employment of indigenes and regular disengagements of the few already working in the employment of the company and none payment of scholarship to indigenes of the affected area from 2014 till date.
Ohare also accused Heritage Oil of a systemic ploy to phase out its scholarship scheme and vowed to resist the oppressive tendencies of the company.
He stated that Heritage Oil had failed 100 percent in implementing the terms of the GMOU which he said was painstakingly negotiated and personally supervised by the Attorney-General.
The President General accused the company of awarding contracts including that of pipeline surveillance and other maintenance services to foreigners and their cronies, thereby totally neglecting the principle of local content which was part of the GMOU that was signed by the parties.
He said that all attempts to invite the company to a round table discussion to resolve the misunderstanding between them had been rebuffed by the company hence the ultimatum.
Oil Mining Lease 30, comprise 112 communities from Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko nations.