The leaders of Abigborodo community have urged Seplat Development Company Plc to stay off the Uton flow station and other oil facilities under OML 41, and not to enter into any Memorandum of Understanding with any neighbouring community without recourse to them.
Abigborodo is a serene agrarian riverside Itsekiri community in Warri North Council of Delta State.
The warning was contained in a letter signed by Shedrack Demaki and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of Seplat, Roger Brown.
According to the letter dated June 17, 2021 and made available to Financial Street, the community is accusing the oil company of fanning the embers of disunity and crisis among communities and preempting the report of the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Delta State Government.
The community said there was grave danger in the actions of the oil company.
“Abigborodo Community decided to use this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to its plight, especially the likely consequences of the actions of Seplat in entering and/or signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Sapele/Okpe Community without recourse to Abigborodo Community as per her claims and rights,” the report read in part.
The community urged the Seplat boss to use his good offices, as always, to wade into the matter and direct the company to stay action on the MoU with Sapele/Okpe Community.
‘’We act as solicitors/legal advisers to Abigborodo Community, and on whose behalf mandate and firm instructions we write this open letter. The community known as Abigborodo Community is an oil-producing community in Warri North,” the community’s solicitors reportedly said.
The community claimed that the land, which hosts Uton flow station and other oil facilities under OML 41 being operated by Seplat, belongs to it.
“People of Abigborodo community are the owners of all that large expanse of land, which traverses Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis, currently hosting the Uton flow station at Shell Road, and other oil facilities operated and serviced by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited, through Seplat,” part of the letter read.
Abigborodo added that the land, which it claimed as an ancestral heritage, had never been in contention until recently when the Sapele/Okpe Community, through one Augustine Arieaja, trespassed on it, which necessitated the state government’s intervention.
The community accused Seplat of refusing to address issues raised in its earlier letter.
It said, “If you can recall, a letter dated July 9, 2020 was addressed to the managing director of Seplat, wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that several weeks after the receipt of the letter, the managing director of Seplat has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised therein by Abigborodo community.”
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