CAMPAIGN FOR THE ECONOMIC SURVIVAL OF URHOBO NATION (CATESUN)
OPEN LETTER TO MUHAMMADU BUHARI
12th August, 2020,
Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Villa, Abuja.
REMINDER OF YOUR PROMISED DIALOGUE WITH URHOBO NATION AFTER YOUR PLEA FOR US TO JETTISON PLANNED SHUTDOWN OF OPERATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL OIL COMPANIES IN OUR LAND.
Your Excellency, we bring you greetings from the Urhobo people across the world, particularly those of us that resident in the homeland of Delta and Bayelsa states who have accepted Nigeria as our one and only nation.
We wish to remind you of our earlier open letter published on page 24 of Vanguard Newspaper of on 3rd July, 2020 where we enumerated the injustices melted on our adored Urhobo people by the Federal Government and the Multinational Oil Companies that operates in Urhobo Land.
We revealed in the aforementioned letter that we are host to the Utorogu Gas Plant, which is the biggest in Africa, with numerous Oil Wells, Oil Locations, Oil Fields, Tank Farms and Pipelines which runs across the length and breadth of the numerous Urhobo communities in Delta and Bayelsa states.
The most recent one that brought us out of our shell was the deliberate exclusion of competent, financially capable and professionally qualified Urhobo sons and daughters from participating in the process of ceding of 57 Oil Marginal Fields to indigenous investors.
The Local Content Law and Right of First refusal were thrown into the air and not adhere to by the management of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Minister of Petroleum Resources (State), Chief Timipre Sylva that initially handled the process.
We stated our grievances and demands in the letter to include:
•Initiation of a fresh process of ceding out the 57 Marginal Oil Fields because of the deliberate and illegal moves by some top government officials to exclude the Urhobo people from being part of the process.
•Further probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to unravel the rot and corruption of those entrusted with the responsibility of piloting the affairs of the interventionist agency. Thereafter tangible projects must be initiated and completed, especially the pilling and reclamation of all coastal communities in Urhobo Land.
•Resuscitation of the moribund Delta Steel Company (DSC) which the current handler, instead of production of steel, has resorted to sales of its equipments as scrap.
•Relocation of all headquarters of International Oil Companies to Niger Delta.
•Suspend plan to divert gas from Urhobo Land to Ajaokuta, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Niger Republic until all host communities and Urhobo leaders are consulted and considered for contracts and employment.
•Appointment of an indigene of Urhobo as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme because since the existence of the programme, no Urhobo has been considered for the coordinator’s position, whereas we are major stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
•All environmental degradation issues in Urhobo land must be urgently addressed.
*Employment of Urhobo Indigenes as Staff in Multinational Oil Companies and Initiation of Poverty Alleviation Programmes that will take our teeming youths from the streets.
When the Federal Government failed to listen to us after the letter, we resolved to shutdown all operational facilities of Multinational Oil Companies in Urhobo land. It was at that point that the Federal Government as directed by you, through the various security agencies, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, Minister of Petroleum (State), Chief Timipre Sylva and the Deputy Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, appealed to us to jettison our planned action to enable the Federal Government meet with us for possible solution to our outlined points of agitation.
As responsible and law abiding citizens of Nigeria, we heed to their appeal (since it came from you), and promise to reach out to members of Campaign for The Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN) and other interest groups.
Mr. President, as at today, we have not heard from any of the persons saddled with the responsibility to reach out to the various ethnic groups that earlier threatened to shut down operations of Multinational Oil Companies in Urhobo land and beyond.
Sir, we are directing this reminder to you because we believe, as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and being a man of rare temperament that you are, only you can urgently address the deliberate snub of the Urhobo people in the ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government and the oil and gas producing ethnic nations in Delta and Niger Delta, particularly the Urhobo people of Delta and Bayelsa states.
We reiterate that you should as a matter of urgency direct all those responsible for the peace process to invite the critical and concern stakeholders, particularly the Urhobo people to address our grievances for an enduring peace in our land.
We are running out of patience and failure by the Federal Government to urgently address the stated points will be met with stiff resistance, having endured injustice, since the discovery of crude oil in our lands for over 60 years ago.
God Bless Nigeria
Olorogun Ese Kakor
Campaign for The Economic Survival of Urhobo Nation (CATESUN)