The Opu-Nembe community in Nembe-Bassambiri, Nembe Council of Bayelsa State and host to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Ltd., yesterday, issued an immediate quit notice to the oil company to leave the community.
At a world press conference and protest march by the community leaders, they accused the oil exploration company of economic strangulation, ecological destruction, contract racketeering and corporate wickedness.
The traditional rulers and chiefs in the kingdom wore all-black outfits in what they said was a symbolic way to announce the company’s death and final burial in the community.
Chief Oriango Oruwari, Chairman of the Council of Chiefs, who addressed the media, said: “The conference served as a quit notice to Aiteo, effective from November 14, after when it is no longer welcome.
“The incompetent manner this prized asset is operated has caused several oil spills in our kingdom, some of which are now receiving attention from NOSDRA, following petitions from our lawyers, though they remain uncleared and unpremeditated over a year after.
“At this rate, the remnants of our ecological resources and natural livelihoods may completely vanish during the remaining two and half years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, all thanks to Aiteo.
“Consequently, we declare as follow: that the operational licence of OML 29, held by Aiteo, having expired on June 30, 2019, notwithstanding the illegal secretive renewal by the then Minister Ibe Kachikwu, should be relinquished.
“That the Federal Government owned Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) should take over operations of OML 29, pending when a new, competent and community friendly operator takes over…”
A spokesperson for Aiteo, who said he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the company, said the corporation is working on a response to issues raised by the community.
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