Four communities in Orhionmwon local government area of Edo State have shut down the operation of Seplat Petroleum Development Company over non-appointment of the Edo State representative into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The NDDC board was inaugurated in December last year but political bickering had since stalled the appointment of Edo State representative.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole had nominated Barr. Henry Okhuarobo, but the protesting communities sent the name of one Barr. Courage Enofe while leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state sent several names.
The protesting communities which comprised Ikobi, Iguelaba, Oben and Obozogbe-nugu stormed the company gate with placards bearing several inscriptions.
Security was beefed up along the road leading to where the flow stations and oil well heads are located.
The protest march followed a letter written to the Commander, 19 Battalion, Koko in Delta State dated March 6, 2014 in which the communities resolve to shut down flow stations in their locality.
Secretary of Oben Community, Comrade Johnbull Omokaro, said Oben flow station contributes about 95 percent of oil and gas produced in the state.
Comrade Omokaro said the appointment of their son would bring succour to what they have suffered in the past.
He said, “We have not gotten anybody appointed into positions of such nature. We want our son from this locality to be appointed. That will go in line with the act that established the NDDC.”
Chief Friday Omoragbon, the Onobare of Oben said there was nothing in the communities to show there was oil and gas in the land.
He said they were at the flow station to alert the operating company of a possible shut down of their activities if their nominee was not appointed.
However, Prince Thomas Isibor, Secretary of Obozogbe described the youths that sealed up NDDC office in Benin City, as political errand boys hired to demand for the appointment of an individual.
A staff of the company, who would not be named, however, said they were carrying out routine maintenance on their facilities which was why the company was not operational during the protest.
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