The Umu-Ebe family of Ama in ogba Egbema Ndoni LGA has shut down an oil well facility belonging to oil giant Total E&P located in the community following a peaceful protest.
Youths, women and elders of the Umu-ebe family were seen carrying placards with inscriptions “Madam Proust use your good office to address these anomalies”, “Umu-Ebe Family owns Ogbidi land where AM/106/107 Well situates, give us our rights”,chanting traditional war songs around the Total oil well
Paramount ruler of the community HRH Innocent Ugada said the Umu-Ebe family have been neglected from empowerment since Total started operations in their land in 1991.
He said only the Ama community have been enjoying benefits from inception without carrying along the Umu-Ebe Family, thereby calling for a separation of an MOU signed with the Ama Community.
Eze Innocent Ugada called on Total to employ the Umu-Ebe youths which he said are all graduates and a separate MOU for the family or relocate the AM 106/107 well from their farmland.
“Since 1991 Total/Elf started operations on our farmland, they have not deem it proper to recognize us the owners of the land, they are only after the community. This farmland where they discovered the oil belongs to the Umu-Ebe family and not the full Ama Community that is now only benefiting from the company. Total/Elf should respect the owners of the land which is the Umu-Ebe family before the community. You should know that nothing from these company like employment, empowerment or contracts reaches us the owners of the farmland,” he said.
Youth leader of the Umu-Ebe family in the community, Newman Ogada said he wonders why Total will fail to employ graduates of the family who have even gone far abroad to study and train in engineering and geo-sciences courses with higher degrees. He said the neglect of the company is causing hardship and increasing criminal activities in the community.
He called on Total to give the Umu-Ebe family their due rights and considerations by recognizing the oil producing families in Ama Community for the sack of peace.