Isoko protest against Heritage Energy Oil’s takeover of company

Indigenes protesting against Heritage Energy Oil Services Limited over forceful takeover of Isoko Oil and Gas Company from National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) without consultation. PHOTO: Michael Ekokoruwe<br />

Isoko people led by the President General of Isoko Development Union, Chief Iduh Amadhe, have staged a peaceful protest against Heritage Energy Oil Services limited over undemocratic and forceful take over of the management of oil and gas company in Isoko from National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Oleh, Isoko South local government area of Delta State.

The peaceful protest involving community representatives and president general from Oleh, Uzere, Igbide, Olomoro, Otor – Owhe, Iyede, Akiewhe, Enwhe, Okpolo – Enwhe and Emevor communities went through old Olomoro road to the company’s premises in Oleh with placards displaying various inscriptions like ‘enough is enough’, ‘No employment No Heritage’ and ‘We say No to modern slavery’.

The security operatives at the company stopped the protesters from entering the company’s premises and appealed for calm. Chief Amadhe also appealed to the protesters to remain calm as information displayed on various placards have been noted by the security men while calling for a stake holders meeting to address the issue raised by Isoko people.

Captain G.M. Ado, the officer commanding Isoko Nation and Rtd captain Andrew Audu, the District security supervisor of Heritage Energy oil services limited, appealed for calm as he will report back to the company, stressing that arrangement to see various communities for dialogue and stakeholder meeting before commencing operation is in place.

Chief Iduh Amaidhe noted that stakeholders meeting of Isoko which will involve NPDC and Heritage Energy oil, the local government, State government representatives and security agencies must be held to address unemployment and the development of Isoko land. He stated that Heritage Company coming to Isoko by force and through the back door is unacceptable.

Chief Iduh condemned the Company’s attitude of sidelining Isoko communities, the local and State government in taking over the company from NPDC, emphasizing that Isoko need peace and Heritage Energy Oil should not curse trouble using divide and rule system in Isoko land.

He reiterated that Isoko people ‘Say NO’ to Heritage Energy Oil forceful takeover of the Company from NPDC as what is expected at the beginning has not been done.He stated that, “on the 29th of November 2016, the Delta State governor Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa said, before the Company will take over from NPDC, stakeholder meeting of president general of various communities, the government and security agencies should be held”, noting that contrary to the governor Okowa’s instruction, Heritage Company was set to take over from NPDC today.

He emphasized that Isoko Nation want the following issues to be addressed before Heritage Energy Oil commences operation. Youth unemployment, security surveillance of oil pipeline by the communities, scholarship and skill acquisition, visit to traditional rulers and employing indigenous contractors. Chief Iduh said, No dialogue and stake holder meeting, No operation. He added that the company should be wise and move their base of operation to Isoko land as instructed by the Vice President professor Yemi Osimbajor.

Earlier, the president general of Oleh community Chief James Obeuwou who spoke for other president general of Isoko said, it was alleged that Heritage Company has employed about 150 workers outside Isoko communities now been trained to commence work in Isoko land. He said, the Company has not been introduced to the host community of operation, stressing that Isoko people will not accept Heritage Energy Oil as a Company to oppress and curse confusion in Isoko land.



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