Mr. Gbenga Edema, former chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, OSOPADEC.

Clifford Moore

The immediate past chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, OSOPADEC, Mr. Gbenga Edema has frowned at the claim by Benson Enikuomehin, a one time commissioner, representing Ondo state on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC that only the people of Ugboland in Ilaje one of the two oil producing local government areas in Ondo state deserve appointments into both Niger Delta development commission, NDDC and OSOPADEC.

Benson Enikuomehin had at a different forum accused the governor of Ondo state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of deliberately acting against the laid down rules, regulations and in flagrant disregard to the constitution for the establishment of NDDC and OSOPADEC.

Enikuomehin stated that only people from Ugboland in Ilaje local government have the right to be appointed to occupy positions on the board of NDDC and OSOPADRC because it is the only area in the two oil producing local government areas of the state that is currently producing oil.

He said Governor Akeredolu is doing all these to get back at Ugbo people because they kicked against the move by someone from Owo the home town of the governor to become a member of NDDC.

Reacting to the position, Mr. Gbenga Edema said the Petroleum Industry Act has put to rest such primordial agitation orchestrated by trivialists who want to use the clause to flourish their selfish interest.

He said section 6 (2) of PIA 2021 stated that “in determining a host communities situated in or appurtenant to shallow water and deep water areas of operation the following criteria shall apply.

“A littoral community to a deep water area of operation located along the Golf of Guinea Nigeria shoreline up to about 500 meters inland provided the community is gazetted by the National boundary commission.”

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Edema said Ogogoro where he hails from is not up to 500 meters away from most of the oil wells in the local government area.

He went further to say that all the effort of people of Ugboland to discredit him have been defeated in the past. He said the first one was when he was appointed the chairman house committee on OSOPADEC by Ondo state house of assembly and the second time when Governor Akeredolu appointed him as chairman OSOPADEC which the people took him to court and they lost the case.

Edema said development of infrastructures, amenities and improvement of socioeconomic status of the people of Ilaje and ESE Odo in general should be the concern of all and sundry in the Niger Delta region of Ondo state and not unhealthy discrimination and segregation.