Protest: Aggrieved youths demand dissolution of OML 30 Community Dev Board
By Igbunu Miracle
COMMERCIAL activities and movement were restricted for several hours as hundreds of youth from the oil-bearing communities in the Oil Mining Lease, OML 30, recently stormed the Ughelli North Local
Government area secretariat and the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli demanding for the dissolution of Community Development Board, CDB executives.
The placard carrying protesters with inscriptions such as ‘No more CDB’ ‘We need our Right’, CDB give give us our right, CDB leave us Alone’ defied the heavy downpour and marched round the major streets
of the Ughelli metropolis, lamented the continued stay in office of the CDB executive, whose tenure according to them have expired on February 5, 2018.
Speaking during the protest, one of the protesters, who gave his name as ‘Gen’ Richard Oshegu accused the CDB of “diverting the pipeline surveillance jobs meant for ex-militants and youths of the host
communities to non-indigenes of the communities thereby breaching the local content law.
Oshegu said, “The present board should relinquish the pipeline surveillance contracts and so that a new CDB can be put in place to carry the youths of the communities along in the surveillance of oil
and gas pipelines in their domains.”
Another protester who identified himself as Prince Kelvin Omobaye said, “Since we don’t want bloodshed, we are appealing to the local and state governments to urgently call the CDB to order to avoid the breakdown of law and order in OML 30″.
He alleged that the present CDB is not recognized by traditional rulers of the OML30 communities, and the future is bleak with their continuous stay in office, we don’t want to lose a soul in any of these communities hence we have peacefully protested to the local government council to notify the chairman of Ughelli North”.
Also speaking, Mr. Friday Okpe said, ‘What ought to have been given to the people of OML 30 is being given to those who are not from the oil producing communities in the areas; people from other states are feeding fat from our sweat and we will not allow that to happen. We are suffering under the umbrella of this CDB.
He said, “We came here to seek the indulgence of the local government council chairman to help us get our right because the oil is being derived from our land and we cannot continue to suffer”.
Addressing the protesters, the Chairman of Ughelli North council, Mr. Godwin Adode commended them for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves and said, “The council and traditional rulers will call for a meeting to resolve the matter, he urged them to go about their business and maintain peace in the local government.