Posted by Bolaji Ogundele, Warri | 9 October 2018 | 810 times
The federal and Delta state government have been charged to take steps to address two issues of injustice against the people of Udu Kingdom in Delta state before the people resort to self-help.
The charge was given on Tuesday by the people of the Kingdom during a peaceful protest, involving women and youths of the kingdom against alleged inconsiderate and unjust treatment of the people by both the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
The people, however, gave a 14-day ultimatum for the police to return the overseeing authority of the area from Burutu council to either Ughelli or Warri, just as it demanded that the NPDC locates a flow station within its land area to compensate its contribution to the nation’s daily crude oil export.
The protesters, who matched through Otor-Udu, the headquarters of Udu council area of Delta state, had stops at the Udu council secretariat, Otor-Udu, the Delta state Government House Annex, Warri, the Delta Broadcasting (DBS) studio in Warri and finally at the palace of the Ovie of Udu Kingdom.
The protest, led by the Youth President of Udu Kingdom, Comrade Sunday Subi, was targeted at rejecting the decision of the Nigeria Police to attach the Ovwian/Aladja Divisional police to the Burutu Area Command and the neglect being suffered by the kingdom as a result of the absence of a flow station in the area, despite the huge quantity of oil drilled from the area.
According to Subi, “this is to protest the attachment of the police in Udu council to Burutu Area Command, which is in Burutu council area. We totally reject this. As if that is not enough, the NPDC, which has been drilling oil from Udu for more than 30 years decides not to site a flow station here. So this is also to demand for a flow station to be sited in Udu.
“We were initially with the Ughelli Area Command and they later took us to Warri and now to Burutu. The distance between here and Burutu is between 4 to 8 hours. However, the distance between here and Ughelli or Warri is between 20 to 30 minutes.
“We are saying that with the number of communities we have in Udu, we are fit to have our own area command, but if they say they can’t give us an area command, they should attach us to either the Ughelli Area Command or Warri Area Command.
“Our leaders have written petitions before now and this is the last action we will take to let the world know we have been demanding for these things. If after 14 days of this protest and we see no action, we will be forced to go ahead and lock all oil wells in Udu Kingdom”, he warned.
Also speaking to journalists during protests, one of the leaders of the women, Mrs. Florence Jigbale said the distance between Udu communities and Burutu, which is an Ijaw riverine area, is too much for the people to contemplate.
“The question is how do they expect us to be going that far? We can’t take this. Udu is big enough to be an area command; we have 36 communities in Udu, why will they attach us to a place that far? To get to Burutu you will go past Ughievwen and Ughelli before we can start the journey to Burutu. Udu won’t agree with them on this.
“They should give us our own police area command, Udu is big enough, at least the federal government knows the benefits it gets from Udu. The same thing goes for the flow station demand”, she said.
Meanwhile, attending to the protesters at the Udu council secretariat, the vice chairman of the council, Hon Justice Iyasere, said the issues being protested would be promptly addressed, noting that the chairman of the council, Hon Jite Brown, was already in Asaba with the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and would related their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
•Sourced from The Nation report
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