Hundreds of ex-Niger Delta militants and youths from oil-producing communities in Oil Mining Lease 30 have protested against the alleged plan to cancel the OML 30 surveillance contract, a situation they claimed would lead to job loss in the region.
The protesters, who stormed the Ughelli North Council Secretariat, and the Palace of the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, Delta State, also kicked against plot to remove the chairman of the Community Development Board for OML 30, Mr Morrison Idiowa.
They contended that any attempt to take the leadership of the pipeline surveillance contract from Urhobo ethnic nationality in line with rotational policy in the board would be met with stiff opposition by them.
Speaking during the two separate protests on Friday and Saturday, the leader of the protesters, Samuel Oghotomo, told the Chairman of Ughelli North Council area, Mr Godwin Adode, who received the protesters at the council, that the plot to remove them from the project could threaten the peace in the region.
Oghotomo noted that OML 30 communities were satisfied with the leadership of Idiowa, adding that he gave employments to many youths through the surveillance contract which had thus checked unrest.
He said, “The surveillance contract Idiowa is handling is not a contract for the entire Urhobo nation, but OML 30 communities. People cannot leave their communities to drag a surveillance contract that belongs to us. We will not accept it. We are calling on the council chairman to use his position to take our matter to the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.”
Responding, Adode appealed for calm as they embarked on the protests, promising to take their request to the appropriate authorities.
In his response, the Ughelli monarch, Oharisi 111 thanked the protesters for their peaceful conduct, assuring them that he would do everything within his capacity to ensure that the matter was resolved.