The National Chairman of Epkeye Oil and Gas (EOG) Pipelines Host Communities Association, Comrade Chidi Odogini has called on the federal government to pay urgent attention to the plights of Epkeye Nation tackle it holistically for peaceful operations of the multinational companies in their land.
He stated this during the annual celebration and sensitization of the program tagged ” Peaceful Co-existence. In Host Communities Of Epkeye Ethnic Nationality” on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at the headquarters of Ahoada local government area of Rivers State, saying he sees no reason Epkeye sons and daughters should not be included in the board of NDDC as a major host to the multinational companies.
He frowned on the level of marginalization and underdevelopment in Epkeye, noting that among the ethnic nationalities that have made it to the NDDC board, none contributes to both the state federal governments as Ekpeye land.
His words: Epkeye is contributing more than 45 percentage to the growth of our National income, so how can such an ethnic nation be so neglected? We have a database that shows Epkeye is one of the major ethnic nationalities that is feeding this nation. We host virtually all the multinational. For instance, the two major export lines which is the Brass-Nembe export line and the TNT trans Niger that is feeding this country passes through Epkeye land. So I wondered why we can’t make it to the NDDC board?
The National Chairman said EOG is an association that is poised to address the long time neglect and marginalization of the Epkeye people with regard to the oil and gas business by the multinational companies in Epkeye land.
According to Comrade Odogini, EOG has taken it as a mandate to educate and sensitize their people on why they are called oil bearing communities and the need for a peaceful co-existence with the multinational in order to achieve the needed development.
He accused the multinationals of being instrumental to the insecurities in Epkeye land through the divide and rule, adding that war is never an option in building society rather it destroys society. He therefore, urged the companies not to cause more crisis.
Comrade Odogini urged the people of Epkeye to remain hopeful and steadfast as the leadership of EOG will continue to seek peaceful avenues to address the problems that have bedeviled their land.
Hon. Mac Sunday in his speech said talking about hydrocarbon, Epkeye is the major host of the multinational companies but wondered why there are no meaningful projects to show for it in the area.
Hon. Sunday promised to support whatever peace struggle that will bring development to Epkeye kingdom but begged all and sundry to come together in unity to enable them achieve their objectives.
He also appealed to EOG to talk to the people involved in vandalizing the pipelines to please jettison that act, as it is not the best approach.