The Ijaws in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta have urged the Federal Government to give them ‘right of first refusal’ in marginal oil fields located in the kingdom.
The Spokesman of Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, Godspower Gbenekama,made the call on Sunday at a news conference held at Oporoza, the administrative headquarters of the Gbaramatu kingdom.
Gbenekama who spoke on behalf of the chiefs and other sons and daughters of Gbaramatu, some of whom held placards, alleged the marginalisation of the oil-producing kingdom.
Some of the placards reads: “FG should restart the Omadinor-Escravos road project, “Bring back our Dockyard, NIMASA”, among others.
“We have by this medium announced our total and unequivocal objection to a bidding process that has for long excluded well-to-do Gbaramatu indigenes from the marginal fields.
“The Federal Government should come up with modalities where competent companies owned by Gbaramatu indigenes will be given the right of first refusal on oil fields located in Gbaramatu and Warri South-West,’’ he said.
Gbenekama was unhappy with the ongoing bidding process for the 57 marginal fields by the DPR which according to him had excluded Gbaramatu-owned companies from partaking.
He appealed to the government to relocate to Gbaramatu the Floating Dock/Ship Building Yard originally planned to aid learning in the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
Gbenekama also appealed to the Federal Government to resume work on the abandoned Omadinor-Escravos road to boost socio-economic and peaceful co-existence of Ijaws and Itsekiris.
“We urge the Federal Government to restart the Omadinor-Escravos road project to improve the economic relations between the neighbouring Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Areas.
“The Federal Government should also resume work on the multi-billion dollars Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Ogidigben and Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu both in Warri South-West, among others,” he said.