Oil bearing communities in Warri South West local government area and Chevron Nigeria Limited have been asked to exercise restraint in the crisis that led to the shut down of the company’s flow station at Utunana, Kokodiagbene in Gbaramatu Kingdom.
The Delta State Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, made the appeal in Government House Annex Warri, at a meeting he held with the oil firm and stakeholders from the four affected communities.
Barrister Otuaro said the state government summoned the meeting to broker peace between the oil firm and the communities to enable the company commence operation while the issues that gave rise to the crisis were being looked into.
He said the shut down was unhealthy to the host communities, the company, the state and the country and called on the oil company to focus on the development of its host communities in the interest of peace.
The Deputy Governor gave an assurance that the Okowa administration would continue to take proactive steps in peace building, affirming that no meaningful progress could be made in an atmosphere of rancour and acrimony.
Barrister Otuaro charged the company and stakeholders of the communities to respect the decisions reached.
The General Manager, Policy and Government Affairs of Chevron Nigeria Limited,, Mr. Esimaje Brikins, said the company would work to beat the ultimatum given it by the host communities to avoid further shut down of its operations.
He thanked the Delta state government for its timely intervention to forestall loss of revenue and bring about lasting peace.
Some of the stakeholders from Egbema, Gbaramatu, Kokodiagbene and Makaraba communities said if the ultmatum given to Chevron was not complied with they would further shut down the flow station.
They said the oil firm had refused to provide basic amenities for its host communities in addition to implementing the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties in the past.
The meeting was attended by opinion leaders from the affected communities and top government functionaries, including the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Freeman Fregene, the Chairman of Warri South West local government, Honourable Taiye Tuoyo and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor.