Delta Community Protest Non Payment Of Entitlements By Heritage Oil

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Delta Community Protest Non Payment Of Entitlements By Heritage Oil

People of Ugbokodo, Okpe Kingdom in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State have taken to the streets to protest the activities of Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd, operators of OML 30 Trans Forcados Pipeline, over non-payment of entitlements to community-based surveillance workers.

In what was seen as a heavy protest on Thursday the demonstrators issued a seven days ultimatum to the company, saying they cannot be slaves in their own land anymore.

They appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other relevant agencies to come to their rescue by prevailing on Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd to urgently pay them their backlog of entitlements

The workers disclosed that Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd was owing them 18 months salaries despites working, adding that if the company fails to harken to their demands by urgently paying them their money and other sundry issues, as indigenes of the oil producing area, they can’t guarantee the continued safety of the critical facilities. 

They lamented that since Heritage takes over the facility from the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), it has been one problem to the other where indigenes of the oil bearing communities in OML 30 have become slaves in the hands of Heritage Oil Plc, alleging that the deliberate non-payment of the workers for 18 months have caused unprecedented hardship on the people. 

The Egbefe of Okpe Kingdom, Chief Clifford Ikpikpini told newsmen that Heritage cannot continue to starve the people from their mandate areas to get what they want freely. 

Chief Ikpikpini particularly obseeved that Heritage Oil Plc is becoming above the law, sighting series of references where the company had continued to snobb meetings initiated by higher authorities to broker peace. 

“Ugbokodo has been a very peaceful community over time, we cannot keep quiet anymore when we are being owed over 17 months 

“Heritage has become above the law, the company has continued to snobb both the Delta State Government and other authorities including the Nigerian Police Force whenever moves are made to bring solution to this matter. 

The chief stressed that the palace of Okpe Kingdom in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State is well aware of the protest, adding that when the palace was briefed on the issue, the palace was surprised that up till now, Heritage is yet to pay the workers for 18 months. 

Chief Clifford maintained that while the palace is aware of the protest, it charged the protesters on a peaceful demonstration devoid of violence as peaceful protest is recognised by the laws of the country. 

The chief had vowed that the protest will continue to linger in a higher volume until Heritage urgently pay them their money and renew their contracts. 

The trio of Thomas Eyetan Jemigbeyi, Spokesman  in  Ubeji community, Warri South Local Government Area,  Mrs Alice Okoroyi and Sir Evang. Samuel Ogholemu, Chairman Ugbokodo community had all spoken in similar manner on the varying dictatorial, oppressive and inimical tendencies of Heritage Oil Plc towards their hosts. 

They asserted that they are tired of Heritage hence the protest, promising that it will continue until all pending and ondulating payments are done urgently and the indigenous pipeline surveillance contracts be renewed.

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