Some Anambra indigenes under the umbrella of Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) Producing Oil and Gas on Thursday demonstrated against the continued exclusion of Anambra from the oil bearing states in Nigeria.
The demonstrators carrying placards with various inscriptions, commenced their march from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station, Awka and ended at the Government House, Awka.
Some of the placards they displayed read: “We are Anambra, we are oil producing, DPR declare us so”, “Anambra is qualified and deserved to be included among oil producing states”.
Other are: “Stop oil bunkering in Anambra State”, “Give us our 13 percent, Elf Oil what is happening at OPL 817 upgrade”, “Sterling Global is stealing Anambra silly and DPR confirms the activities of oil prospecting companies in Anambra”, among others.
Mr Tony Chiokwe, Anambra State Chairman of HOSCON, who read the address by the group demanded inclusion of the state among oil bearing states as well as extension of full benefits to it.
The group called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and NNPC to confirm the presence of Sterling Global on Anambra fields.
Chiokwe said that the firms had operated in the state for seven years, adding that such period was sufficient to have earned the state full recognition as an oil producing state with full benefits.
He noted that on Aug. 30, 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan declared Anambra as oil producing state.
“Since the declaration, Orient Petroleum had been prospecting oil in Enugu-Agulu Otu, other oil companies have entered the terrain prospecting oil in our state.
“While OPL 815, 816 and 817 are allocated to two main companies, Sterling Global has since 2013 been exploring oil in Ogwu-Ikpele and Ogwu-anocha, Ogbaru Area of Anambra,” he said.
He said that the company at Ogwu-Ikpele not only prospect oil, but flares gas, adding that both activities were seriously degrading the environment.
“Most disturbing in the activities of these oil firms is that they drill in Anambra and pipe the crude to Delta State, from where it is barged and exported, making it look as if the oil is prospected from Delta,’’ he said.
Chiokwe said that the oil rig/platform of Sterling Global is still standing in Ogwu-Ikpele, even as DPR had continued to deny the activities of Sterling Global in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the demonstrators were led by some notable personalities in the state, including Mrs Joy Igboka, founding member of HOSCON and Dr Emeka Ilouno, Chairman, Elders Advisory Council, HOSCON, Anambra etc.