Delta State Government has warned community leaders and other agitators against wanton destruction of oil facilities as well as public and private properties in the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, yesterday summoned community leaders, including women, from Ozoro Kingdom that were reportedly fomenting trouble in their domain, and warned them against further destruction that might lead to the shutdown of flow stations.
Mrakpor said agitation of any kind should be done within the confines of the law for peace to reign in the various communities that make up Cluster One in OML 26.
While reminding community leaders in the state of the need to obey the provisions of the Delta State Public and Private Properties Protection Law, which criminalises forceful entry and destruction of public and private properties, the commissioner maintained that presidents-general would be held liable for any infraction.
He, however, charged the Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) to be more proactive in dealing with complaints from its host communities.
Mrapkor also called on oil firms in the state to conform with the provisions of the Delta State Local Content Law, recently signed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, that allocated a certain percentage of employment slots to indigenes of host communities.
The communities had accused the operators of the NPDC/FHN/AMT joint venture of sabotaging their efforts towards securing a gas purchase deal to power electricity turbines that would power the proposed Cluster One communities.
The Manager, Community Affairs of NPDC, Mr. Blessyn Okpowo, and Chief Charles Akeni who spoke behalf of the cluster, agreed to work in line with the law.
MEANWHILE, the Director General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris Musa, has said that environmental problems facing the Niger Delta threaten the supportive ecosystem and the people’s livelihoods.
One of such threats is the incidence of oil spillage caused by pipeline vandalism, Musa said in Asaba yesterday.
According to him, there is compelling need to organise town hall meetings to create awareness on the dangers of pipeline vandalism in the region to clearly identify and harmonise the roles government, oil industry operators, oil-producing host and others in addressing the menace.
“This resulted in the development of the community-based Disaster Risk Deduction (DRR) plan on dangers of oil pipeline vandalism and resultant environmental pollution,” he added.