Eastern Obolo Council of Chiefs in Akwa Ibom State has called on the Federal Government to withdraw operating mining license (OML112) from AMNI International Petroleum Development Company Limited.
The elders who stated this at Okoroete, Eastern Obolo on Saturday, averred that if the FG does not intervene quickly by withdrawing the firm’s operating licence, the community may be forced into taking unpleasant actions against the company.
Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council, Eastern Obolo LGA, Chief Job Job, said that since AMNI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the chiefs and began operations at Okoro and Setu fields less than 12km offshore of Eastern Obolo territorial waters, the relationship between the company and the community has been soiled.
He stated that AMNI, since coming into the community has been using “divide and rule” system to cheat, marginalise, intimidate and insult the chiefs and other stakeholders of the area. He noted that the community, rather than enjoying the benefits of their oil, suffer from neglect, insults, abuses and in-house war instigated by AMNI among brothers.
According to Job, the company has continued to exploit their resources without corresponding without corresponding corporate social responsibilities in terms of development to the community.
Job on spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers, expressed surprise why AMNI could not keep to the agreement it reached with the people of Eastern Obolo eight years ago.
He added that the chiefs were angry with the continuous pollution, neglect of their communities and the deteriorating relationship between the oil company and the people of the area.
He said, “We are sad about the company fueling crisis in our community by refusing to recognise and work with the new/4th Community Relations Committee following the expiration of the 3rd CRC whose tenure came to an end on the 24th October, 2014; and this could not be extended due to non-performance and collaboration with the company to cheat and further exploit the Eastern Obolo Community.
“Every effort we made to ensure a cordial relationship between the community and the company proves abortive. We wrote sixty official letters to AMNI, yet none is replied nor their contents implemented.