By Emma Amaize, Festus Ahon & Perez Brisibe
ASABA—GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, ordered the Ugborodo villagers, who laid siege to Chevron Nigeria Limited facilities in the community and Warri to lift the siege and give government chance to look into their grievances.
He gave the directive at a meeting with representatives of the community, Chevron and security agencies in Asaba, yesterday, warning that nobody should take government’s capacity to protect facilities in the state for granted. Okowa urged the warring parties to also respect the decision of His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri on matters concerning Ugborodo with the oil company.
Vanguard learned that he cancelled the additional names included in the Export Processing Zone, EPZ Interface Committee headed by Mr Austin Oborogbeyi and ordered a reconstitution to accommodate various interests in the area.
He directed that the Emma Meke faction of the community’s Interim Management Committee, IMC should nominate 10 persons, while each of the five communities that make up Ugborodo Kingdom should nominate three persons each, making a total of 15 persons to bring the EPZ Interface Committee to 46 members.
Okowa appointed Itsekiri leader, Chief Ayiri Emami, as the head of an eight-man committee to collate the names of the additional 25 persons and submit to him within one week.
Other members include Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, Austin Oborogbeyi, Ayo Ayomike, Alex Elengho and Emma Meke. Reacting to the dispute Chevron’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Deji Haastrup, said that the company does not interfere in the internal affairs of communities in areas of its operations, including Ugborodo.