GMoU: Indigenes Threaten To Distrupt SEEPCO Operations In Delta Community As Police Arrest five Suspected Cable Thieves

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By Lateef Taiwo

The lingering disagreement between Sterling oil Explorations and Energy Production Company ( SEEPCO) , Its host Community of Okpai , Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday appeared to be heading to a serious feud as the Community , has threatened to shut down SEEPCO Operations in the area over the unending crisis.

The Community has accused the oil Company of reneging on the Global Memorandum of Understanding ( GMoU) it signed with it but the threat was contained in a letter dated August 10,2023 and titled ” Total Violation of the GMoU Terms As Amended by Sterling oil Explorations and Energy Production Company SEEPCO which was also made available to our correspondent.
The letter which was signed by the Chairman of Okpai SEEPCO Committee , Mr Egwu Sam Chucks , and the Secretary, Mr Okwuezuolu Obi , threatened that should the Company management fails to refrain their delay tactics and Comply with the terms of the amended GMoU within the shortest time, the people might not be able to guarantee any kind of industrial harmony and it’s operations in the area. Part of the vexatious issues was request for education assistance and security Programme expense approved by Okpai Cluster Development Board of SEEPCO of which several letters had been written as reminder of Payment of the GMOU fund from June 2022 to May 2023 , as well as the LPG employment Chances which the Company management bluntly ignored. The Okpai Community recalled that following their earlier intensive protest against the Company , former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s intervention led to the agreement of amending the GMOU between the two parties , aimed at fastracking the implementation process , explaining that to ensure compliance with the amended GMOU , projects were submitted to the company through the board for Preparations of Bill of Quantity , ratification and approval within two weeks, but nothing had happened since June 5, 2023 . They stated that the people were running out of patience and will resist any form of intimidation from the Company management, stressing that they would make sure that all Obligations stated in the GMoU were fulfilled before the Company begins any further Operations. The Community, while noting that they had suffered untold neglect for a long time, used the medium to appeal to government at all levels as well as security agencies to prevail on SEEPCO management to adhere to the agreed terms and conditions of the GMoU

According to the letter, the people would not be held responsible for all disruption of the company’s operation , if the management failed to Comply with the request of the Company

Meanwhile, Police Operatives in Delta State have arrested five Suspected Cable Thieves in Kwale , headquarters of Ndokwa West Local Government Area of the state. DSP Bright Edafe, Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State Police Command confirmed that the Suspects were apprehended on intelligence gathering, disclosing that the Division Police Officer DPO Kwale Division, CSP Edwin Igoche who had received Complaints about the activities of the Suspected Vandals , detailed his men to go after them adding that through Combined team, the Suspects were apprehended and are currently in the Police Custody in Kwale.

Also, DSP Edafe said that the Command had arrested another Suspected Criminal for unlawful possession of firearms in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State adding that the Suspect 27 years old Suspect identified as Oghenetaga Duoglas , was arrested by the police Anti Robbery Patrol team attached to the Orerokpe Police Division
Edafe confirmed that the police while on routine stop and search operation on the Oha / Orereokpe Community Road , intercepted a Commercial tricycle with five male Passengers , adding that on search, the Police arrested the Suspect and recovered the sum of N148,000 including Cut to Size guns among others

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