Urhobos under the aegis of Campaign for the Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN), say they have concluded plans to shutdown operations of multinational oil companies in Urhobo nation.
The decision of the group followed its earlier 14-day ultimatum to shutdown oil and gas operations in their area if the federal government fails to initiate fresh process of ceding out the 57 marginal oil field and address issues of gross marginalization of oil multinationals of the federal government against the Urhobo people.
CATESUN which met in Ovwian in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State said the federal government failed to meet up with their demands before the ultimatum expired last Monday.
President of the group, Olorogun Ese Kakor, said, their call for fresh ceding process of the 57 Marginal Oil Field was necessitated by illegal moves by the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Director General of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to exclude Urhobo people from the process.
The group appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call his officers in the oil and gas industry to order alleging that they are the architects of the potentially combustive situation, which has the capacity to set the entire Niger Delta on fire again.
It emphasized that a new process will give competent Urhobo sons and daughters the opportunity to participate in oil and gas activities fairly, having “endured injustice, since the discovery of crude oil in their lands.”
Other prominent leaders of CATESUN, who spoke, Olorogun Mathew Uparan aka Odjeku and Chief Emma Shobor, stated that Urhobo nation is host to several oil and gas facilities, including the multibillion dollars Utorogu Gas Plant, reportedly the biggest in Africa, yet it lacks federal government presence.
“We are not going back on our threat to shut down operations of International Oil Companies in Urhobo nation, enough of the marginalization,” they queried.