By Jimmy Lace

Some of the protesters

A Delta based group, Concerned Citizens of Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdom has vowed to fight against any third term or tenure elongation bid of the outgoing executive of Chevron established Egbema/Gbaramatu Central Development Foundation otherwise referred to as EGCDC.

In a press statement made available to newsmen in Warri shortly after its protest at the premises of High Court 2, they accused the outgoing executive of EGCDC of illegitimate clandestine moves to amend the constitution to suit their third term agenda. They vowed to fight against such move until justice is done.

The statement which was signed by Safoh-Oturubo Warilade Maureen of Gbaramatu Kingdom and Elisha Ukuto of Egbema kingdom, advised the management of Chevron to “counsel the PGPA department to stop playing the game of who becomes the council’s Chairman, Secretary, PRO and Treasurer,” warning that such unholy complicity with the outgoing executive could lead to a destruction of the GMoU process.

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While noting that it will not be intimidated by threats to the life of its members, the group declared that the tenure of the current executive of EGCDC has expired and as such should leave office to give way for “ incoming administration”.

Members of the group had in a protest wore vest with inscriptions such as “we need change” , “Chevron give peace a chance” ,“No third tenure”, “the Council is not for a cabal” and “Chevron PGPA don’t sponsor our brothers against us”.

Their statement read in part, “As concerned citizens of both Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdoms respectively, we are not against the Council members and Chevron. What we are against is that some persons who have been in the council since inception are bent on coming back for a third term, after completing their two tenures of office. Information reaching us is that the constitution is being amended and tailored to suit their third term which is not supposed to be. To find a lasting solution to the problems and challenges of the communities, we need a change; they should step down as we are oppose to their third term tenure agenda.”

They stated further; “We all knew what happened when the former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo propounded the third term after his two tenures of office which crash landed in the National Assembly in 2007.”

“Our advice to those seeking a third term is that they should cease from doing o in the interest of peace for the oil producing communities and the council. We are opposed to the third term and tenure elongation as both are impediments in the will of progress. We will firmly uphold this position to its logical conclusion. It is not the property of any single individual or family in either Egbema/Gbaramatu to hold onto forever”.

According to the group, “This is one case that we will fight on until justice is done. Information reaching us is that some people have been using private lines in calling and sending SMS to our people threatening them in respect of this issue, but we will not stop doing the right thing.”

Concerned Citizens of Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdom noted that “The PGPA department in Chevron should stop playing the game of who becomes the Council Chairman, Secretary, PRO and Treasurer for the communities alone to decide and not impose a candidate on us. They should stop using our brothers against us through lobby as this has already heated up the system. We are abreast with this development and will furnish the general public at appropriate time with the offices and names of such staffers concerned.”

We also want to make it unequivocally clear that the outgoing council members does not have any constitutional right to amend the constitution since there is no single clause that makes provision for that, adding that this present Executive tenure has expired and therefore should leave office to give way for the incoming administration.

We the concerned citizens of Egbema/Gbaramatu Kingdoms are solidly behind those in court, while advising the management of CNL in the interest of peace to counsel the PGPA department to handle this matter properly because it can lead to the destruction of the GMoU process should they fail.

Our Correspondent reports that at the High Court 2 Warri, Justice Owho, the Presiding Judge hearing the suit filed by the group seeking a restraining order on the outgoing executive ,fixed hearing for May 15 this year to allow all parties in the case file motion on notice for the adoption of written addresses.