Oil largesse tears Delta community apart

Posted by News Express | 11 January 2020 | 947 times

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Festus Ahon

Afiesere community, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, has been engulfed in crisis over oil largesse paid to it by an oil company (names withheld) and her contractors operating in the area as a key member of Oil Mining and Lease, OML 30.

The crisis has led to the destruction of properties in the community including vehicles. While alleging that the money was paid into a private account, a section of the community is also alleged that the community has no constitution.

While calling for the implementation of a constitution drafted and adopted by the community in 2014, a leader in the community, Mr. Francis Onobruchere alleged that “the crisis you are seeing today is because some persons want to continue to rule the community without a constitution and an account and some of us who have been through the four wall of higher institution are calling for the civil order.”

Onobruchere who represents Afiesere and other eight cluster communities in the OML 30 Community Development Board, CDB, accused the present executives in the community and those benefiting from the alleged corrupt system of being responsible for the current crisis in the community.

“Over the years until 2014 our community has no constitution and no account. In 2014 a committee was set up to draft a constitution and after working for eight months they came up with a constitution that was adopted by the community.

“In the GMoU singned by 112 cluster communities that made up the OML 30 with Heritage Company, article 13h says, ‘every community shall open a freedom To Operate account (FTO) into which all CDS elements shall be paid. The CDS elements paid shall be for the execution of the project proposed’. The money from the FTO is different from the one from the money paid by the company under the GMOU. The FTO is paid by contractors handling contracts for the company to the community.

“For the past three and half years of this present administration, over N200million has been paid as FTO to the community and this monies have been paid into private account and unaccounted for because the community has no account”.

However, a source close to the community, who pleaded anonymity, said the allegations were not true, insisting that the community has an account and constitution. (Saturday Vanguard)


Source: News Express

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