Friday, May 10, 2019 4:46 pm
The Governor of Ondo State Arakunrin Oluwartimi Aderedolu, SAN, has directed Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation joint venture (NNPC/CNL. JV) to immediately deploy all necessary resources to put off the fire oil well explosion at the NNPC/CNL. JV’s Ojumole Well in Ilaje Local Government Area of the State on or before Saturday 11th May, 2019. This is contained in an advertorial signed by Mr Yemi Olowolabi, Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, and published in The Punch of 10 May 2019.
Akeredolu expressed the displeasure of the state government over the failure of the oil company to extinguish the inferno 19 days after it started and even as the intensity of the fire keeps increasing on daily basis.
He frowned at the attitude of the oil company for showing little concern to the plight of the residents of the affected communities.
He also condemned Chevron for engaging in obnoxious acts of divide and rule among the communities affected by the inferno.
The Governor noted that the State Government has received several complaints from the communities within the Ojumole Oil Well on the committee put in place by Chevron. Akeredolu said the State Government is aware of the antics of some of the Chevron’s top staffers, who are from Delta State that are fanning the embers of discord between Ondo State and her neighbouring state, Delta, purposely for their selfish gains.
The Governor clearly stated that there was no controversy over the ownership of Ojumole and Omuro Oil fields in Ilaje Local Government despite the moves of these top Chevron officers to fuel crisis between these communities by claiming Ojumole Oil field belongs to both Ondo and Delta states.
Akeredolu attributed the cause of the inferno to the negligence and failure of the oil company to secure the facility it abandoned since the Ijaw/Ilaje crisis of 1998.
He lamented that every attempt to make Chevron re-open the facility has proved abortive, despite that the oil well is still very prolific and has the capacity to generate up the 10,000 barrels per day.
The Governor added that due to the abandonment, oil bunkering activities have been very persistent at the location and this has led to several incidences of vandalization of the facility’s equipment and oil spillages/pollution.
He said on several occasions, Chevron was accused of of siphoning oil, at Ojumole through the Opuekeba Platform’s flow Line, using latest technology, thereby depriving the state and the host communities of due benefits that should be accrued.
Akeredolu warned that the Ondo State Government will not give room for anyone to play politics with the lives and property of her indigenes.
Akeredolu, however, sues for peace and assures the people of the affected communities that the government will continue to work hard to ensure their safety.