By Francis Dugbe,
The Urhobo people of Niger Delta, under the aegis of Campaign for the Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN), yesterday gathered in Ovwian, Udu Local Government Area of Delta state with a view of executing thier planned shutdown of operations of multinational oil companies in Urhobo nation.
President of the group, Olorogun Ese Kakor said, the decision to execute their earlier threat was as a result of the expiration of the ultimatum handed down to the Federal Government.
Olorogun Kakor added that the Federal Government failed to meet up with their demands before the ultimatum expired last Monday.
The group had earlier handed down a 14 days ultimatum to shutdown oil and gas operations in their area if the Federal Government fails to initiate fresh process of ceding out the 57 marginal oil field and address issues of gross marginalization of oil multinationals a the federal government against the Urhobo people.
It said, their call for fresh ceding process of the 57 Marginal Oil Field was necessitated by illegal 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.
CATESUN appealed to President Buhari in the statement to call his officers in the oil and gas industry to order as they are the architects of the potentially combustive situation, which has the capacity to set the entire Niger Delta on fire again.
It emphasized 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 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, yet it lacks Federal Government presence.
“We are not going back on our threat to shutdown operations of International Oil Companies in Urhobo nation, enough of the marginalization”, they queried.