By ABEL JOHNGOLD ORHERUATA
Delta State Deputy Governor, Dcn. Kingsley Otuaro, has advised Oil Producing Communities to leverage on institutional structures through dialogue in sorting out issues rather than violence means.
Otuaro, gave the advice after a closed-door meeting with officials of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) led by the Manager Asset Management (West), Mr. Mesh Maichibi at the Government House Annex, Warri, on Friday 30th, October, 2020.
The Deputy Governor, who noted that dialogue remains crucial to resolving conflicts between oil coys and their host communities, disclosed that the purpose of the routine meeting was to evaluate the security concerns in the oil operating environment. Saying that there were some normal issues between oil rich Odimodi and Ogulagha communities in Burutu Local Government Area of the State and SPDC.
“We are trying to look at how we can get out of it and so far there are far-reaching decisions which we intend to manage for a way forward”.
“Of course there will always be issues. Once there are issues, leverage on the institutions and structures and let’s see how we think out the problems and give them solutions rather than resulting to self helps of I want to spoil or I want to destroy and all of that. As a Government, we want to put an end to all of that because it’s not good for us”. He added.
Advising oil producing communities to protect oil facilities in their domains to help the economy, Otuaro reiterated that peace remains a panacea for meaningful development in any society and advised oil producing communities not to take laws into their hands over issues with oil companies but engage in constructive dialogue by adopting peace building mechanisms instituted by the State Government.
“As oil producing communities, do not resort to issuance of ultimatums, threats and destruction of oil facilities but leverage on conflict resolutions and peace building structures established by government to resolve grievances with multinational oil companies. The Delta State Government is people-oriented one hence the welfare of the people remains paramount,” he concluded.
Commenting, the State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, pledged that government would continue to play key roles in resolving grievances between oil producing communities and multinational oil companies.
“We are satisfied with the out come of the closed-door meeting, we would continue to talk, because talking to ourselves is the only way out.
“The whole idea of breaching critical facilities in the name of protests will take us back to the old days. We will advise them to be patient and allow all the talks to yield fruit and the benefits will be at the door step of Deltans.” Amgbaduba added.
The meeting had in attendance the Special Advisers to the Governor on Petroleum, Barrister Ernest Ogwezzy, Peace Building and Conflict Resolutiom, Chief Edwin Uzor, among other stakeholders.