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*Says They Can’t Guarantee Flow Of Oil To Forcados Terminal If Not Given Its Fair Share
By Sunday Apah
Leaders and members of Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, have called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to decentralize the Pipeline Surveillance Contract in order for the Urhobo people and other tribes in the Niger Delta region to have a sense of belonging.
The Urhobo Youth Leaders Association in a statement signed by its President, Olorogun Samuel Oghotomo JP and Secretary, Chief Augustine Atiti, stated that Urhobo is a major oil and gas producing ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta region.
They explained in the statement that Urhobo plays host to the biggest Gas Plant in West Africa, host to OMLs 34, 30, 32, 64,28, 38, 41 and many others being operated by several multinational oil companies in Nigeria.
According to the statement, “the crude oil produced in most parts of Urhobo land are being transported through pipelines to Forcados Terminal in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, making it look as if it’s only Ijaw that produces what goes to the terminal.
UYLA threatened that if the Pipeline Surveillance Contract is not decentralized and Urhobo not given its fair share, they can no longer guarantee the flow of oil to the Forcados Terminal.
UYLA lamented that despite the billions of dollars spent by the Federal Government on war on crude oil theft, including Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited’s multi-million-dollar pipeline surveillance contract, there had been no significant increase in the volume of crude oil sales, rather it keeps plummeting in many areas due to inadequate engagement of personal from host communities for proper policing of the facilities.
“When the late Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, fondly called Capt. Hosa handled the Pipeline Surveillance Contract, he decentralized it in such a way that all the ethnic groups in the Niger Delta region have sub-contracts and were well carried along.
“It was after his death that the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mele Kyari, allegedly conspired with Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo (AKA Tompolo) to sideline other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region, using the misleading propaganda of their war against crude oil theft and pipeline surveillance contracts as yardstick.
“The APC government politicized the surveillance contract and the security of oil facilities along the party line and used it as a means of vote buying. Now that elections are over, we will resist it, if the Tinubu led federal government renews or re-wards the surveillance contract to Tompolo through Tantita Security Services without decentralizing it among the oil producing ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region.
“In the expired pipeline surveillance contract, awarded to Tantita Security Services, the critical stakeholders and the ex- agitators of Urhobo ethnic nationality were not carried along, but this time, if the surveillance contract is not awarded along ethnic line, the Urhobo youths leaders will resist it with every means available to frustrate the production and transportation of crude oil from Urhoboland to the Forcados terminal”, it reiterated.