Crisis is brewing in Delta State between five families in Oviri-Olomu community in Ughelli South local government area and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) following the discovery of oil in Evue/Igbighogho section of the town.
While the five families including Edariese Efedjamah, Irevwiruemu, George Akanuota, Onakota and Ashe are claiming ownership of the said land, other persons alleged to be leaders of the community went to include additional four family names while the NPDC has moved into the land for drilling purposes.
The five families insisted they should be paid compensations, entitled to contract awards, employments, Christmas gifts, scholarships and job slots taking place in the land and enjoy other benefits accruable from the land.
While noting that 60 percent royalties should be paid to the families and 40 per cent to the community, the five families berated NPDC for its alleged failure, neglect and refusal to carry them along in the negotiations that led to the acquisition of the land as well as assessment of the project as regards to the quantum of compensation payable to them before moving to the land for drilling purposes.
They warned that if caution is not exercised by NPDC, their actions might lead to a serious crisis in the community.
Speaking on behalf of the Edariese family, Comrade A.P. Edariese, said the five families mentioned above owned the land and not nine as forwarded to NPDC by some faceless persons, saying the five families have been denied their rights to fair compensation for their properties destroyed on the land and totally denied all payments for loss of use of the land.
Edariese said the land is not owned by the Oviri-Olomu community, stressing that individuals and families owned the land, and have equally been denied their rights to job slots.
Edariese stressed that NPDC imported strange names who have no mandate to lead or represent the community for negotiations against the cries of the five families. “NPDC is hereby placed on caution, solemnly advised and warned never to do anything with Chief John Ewenede and his cohorts”, he said.