Ureju elders accuse ELCREST of using Tonwe as subterfuge against the community

The Council of Elders of Ureju Community in Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, have accused the management of NPDC/ELCREST Joint

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Ureju elders accuse ELCREST of using Tonwe as subterfuge against the community


The Council of Elders of Ureju Community in Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, have accused the management of NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture, operator of Gbetiokun Field of allegedly using Mr. Eniyan Tonwe as, subterfuge against the community (Ureju)” saying: “It is pertinent to emphasize that ELCREST Joint Venture, has been at war with Ureju Community, which they denied all forms of benefits, jobs, contract and money for economic trees damaged since its oil production in Gbetiokun in 2018”.


The accusation, which was contained in an advertorial titled, ‘RE: ELCREST OML 40 JV DONATE RELIEF ITEMS TO GBETIOKUN COMMUNITIES’, noted: “We are constrained to respond to the above-mentioned headline published on page 22 of Vanguard Newspaper, Tuesday July 26, 2022, as it relates to Ureju Community, where ELCREST JV, purportedly donated relief items to Ureju and other host communities in Gbetiokun Field. It has become necessary to put the record straight for posterity”.


The advertorial signed by the Olare – Aja and Chairman, Pa. Thompson Jarikpe,

Ugbatin Olare – Aja, Pa. Omereyemi Orugboh, Assistant Secretary, Council of Elders, Chief Priest Thomas Atsedosan, Pa. Dickson E.T. Ekpoto, Member, Council of Elders, Pa. F.M. A Eduwa Esuku, Member, Council of Elders and Pa. Austine Omabuwa, Member, Council of Elders, added inter-alia: “For the avoidance of doubt, Ureju is the principal host of Gbetiokun Field: DORE (Dogho) Numa judgment over Gbetiokun in 1928.


“Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC acquired the land from Ureju Community during its oil prospect and when it left swamps’ operations, it transferred its assets to NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture, which started oil production in 2018, but refused to recognize Ureju Community as its host. There was no job for the teaming youth population from Ureju Community and no benefit extended to the community. All efforts made to ensure the NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture do the needful, was rebuffed by the company. Consequently, the community wrote to the Delta State government on the 12th of November, 2020 and till date, no resolution.


“In their usual manner of divide and rule politics, they cleverly handed over both the Xmas food items and that of the relief items meant for Ureju Community to Mr. Eniyan Tonwe, who is a self-acclaimed Trust Chairman of Ureju, to cover up their subterfuge against the community. This was done to deceive the gullible members of the community/ public, that they have been in cordial relationship with Ureju Community, since the inception of the project in Gbetiokun, despite the resolution by the community to NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture, not to hand over the food items to Eniyan Tonwe or any group until they hear from the Council of Elders.


It may interest all discerning minds to know that ELCRES Joint Venture, refused to accept its responsibilities and pay compensation to affected communities, when its storage vessel MT. Harcourt, ruptured and spilled oil into our waters and the environment in 2020, which led to litigation between it and the community. It is equally on record that other coastline communities, initiated legal actions against NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture, to take up its responsibilities, which it failed to do till date. No compensation was paid to any community in Gbetiokun.


“NPDC/ELCREST claimed to have carried out the clean-up exercise. That is the greatest lie from the pit of hell, to cover up their evil deeds against the communities affected in contravention to the law regulating oil spill management.


“It must be emphatically stated that the said Eniyan Tonwe, was at no time appointed Chairman of Ureju Community. The community set up a 12-man Transition Committee as contained in the terms of settlement from court on the 14th of November, 2019. where Mr. Lucky Ukueberuwa and Eniyan Tonwe, were made co-chairmen and the committee’s tenure expired since 14th of November, 2021. Since then, no Executive Trust Committee, has been set up for the community till date and the notice of the expiration of the committee’s tenure was communicated to ELCREST via a letter, wherein the company was notified that the Elders’ Council has been in charge of the administration of the community affairs, pending the composition of a new executive committee. It is therefore surprising to see Eniyan Tonwe being referred to as the Chairman of Ureju Community in the said publication.


“NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture’s clandestine move to suppress Ureju Community’s agitation for its right of ownership of Gbetiokun, has become an open secret by its recognition of Eniyan Tonwe as the Chairman of Ureju Community, to achieve its ignoble means against the community.  Eniyan Tonwe, has neither attended the community meetings, nor come to the community for a very long time.  The reference to Eniyan Tonwe as the Chairman of Ureju Community by the NPDC/ELCREST Joint Venture, is a figment of its imagination”.


Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)
ISSN 2354 - 4104

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