Bayelsa Community Serves Aiteo Quit Notice Over Alleged Economic strangulation
Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production limited, on Saturday, was served an immediate quit notice by its host – Opu-Nembe community in Nembe-Bassambiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The Beyalsa community made this known in a world press conference and protest march by its leaders who accused the oil exploration company of economic strangulation, ecological destruction, contract racketeering and corporate wickedness.
The Traditional Rulers and Chiefs in the kingdom all wore black outfit in what they described as a symbolic way to announce the death and final burial of the company in the community.
The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs, Chief Oriango Oruwari who addressed the press, said the conference served as a quit notice to Aiteo, effective from Nov.14, adding, “Aiteo is no longer welcome afterwards.”
“As earlier stated, the incompetent manner this prized asset is operated in had caused several oil spills in our kingdom, some of which are now receiving attention from NOSDRA, following petitions from our lawyers, though they remain uncleared and unremediated over a year after.
“At this rate, the mere remnants of our ecological resources and natural livelihoods may completely vanish during the remaining two and half years of President Muhammdu Buhari’s tenure in office, all thanks to Aiteo.
“Consequently, we declare as follows; that the operational license of OML 29 held by Aiteo having expired on the 30 of June, 2019, notwithstanding the illegal secretive renewal by the then Minister Ibe Kachikwu, should be religuished.
“That the Federal government owned Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) should take over the operations of OML 29, pending when a new, competent and community friendly operator takes over.
“That any purported renewal of the lease after 30th June, 2019, when the present lease expired is invalid, and as such Aiteo became a trespasser and persona non grata in Opu Nembe domain and will therefore not be accorded any social license to operate going forward,” he said
Also speaking, Chief Boumonyo Amakiri Duo, a Retired permanent secretary, said, “Today is a very big day for the people of Opu Nembe, as you can see all of us wearing black which depicts that something serious has happened, and what has happened is to announce to you the death and burial of Aiteo in Opu Nembe land.
“Anytime you see the Nembe people wear black don, we have lost a rare gem, we have lost somebody , today is to announce to the world that Aiteo is dead and buried in Opu Nembe land, because of their irregularities because of their fraudulent practices, we are tired and we are no longer in this marriage,” he said.
Commenting on the development, Aiteo through one of its Spokesman, said the company is working on a response to the issues raised by the community.
By Peace Obi