Polobubo To Shut Down NPDC/Elcrest Operations Over Dredging.
The inhabitants of Polobubo, also known as Tsekelewu, in Egbema Kingdom, Warri North Local Government of Delta State, have agreed to halt oil activities at the Opuama Flow Station in Oil Mining Lease 40.
The operator, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company/Elcrest Joint Venture, was engaged in continuous dredging works at the time.
The community, which hosts the facility, issued the warning Wednesday during a press conference in Warri.
Dr. Bright Abulu, President-General of the Polobubo National Council, was surrounded by other executive members and community leaders when he stated that dredging of a stretch of the canals was making access to the village difficult.
He urged the federal, state, and municipal governments to help, claiming that his people would be cut off from the rest of the world soon since the community’s access rivers had gotten shallower and large boats could no longer enter.
According to Abulu, the conference was required since efforts to engage in communication with the NPDC/Elcrest management on the subject were ineffective.
The community asked that its stretch of the river be dredged to preserve them from extinction, describing the impacts of the company’s “dredging and sweeping operations” as “dangerous” and severely harming mobility and economic activity.
A statement issued at the end of the conference was signed by Abulu, the General Secretary, Revd. Clement Tiemo, and the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Christmas Ukugha.
According to the statement, three letters dated December 9 and 24, 2021, and January 5, 2022, asking an audience between both parties, were recognized by NPDC management on December 31, 2021, and January 7, 2022, but the firm “refused/failed to honor” the community’s invitations.
“Yet, the dredging project is going on unabated to the extent that an oil well drilling rig has been moved into our territory to carry out extensive drilling operations.
“Consequent upon the inexplicable silence of the company, it has become imperative to call this news conference to alert the management of NPDC, Delta State Government, Federal Government and the international community to the danger our people are facing and the imminent physical blockade of the community waterways as a result of artificial siltation and drying up of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) Community waterways by NPDC/Elcrest past and ongoing dredging activities, which is about to cut us off from the rest of the world.”