By Ochuko Akuopha
ABOH – TWO persons are feared dead in Aboh, headquarters of Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State, following disagreements over the sharing formula of benefits from the planned exploration of crude oil from an existing oil well in the community by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.
It was gathered that the community’s leadership had in preparation for future engagements, claims and entitlements had series of engagements and came up with a sharing template which saw the larger kingdom having a lion share and the immediate host family having a fair share.
An indigene of the community. Mr Tony Osborg said the host family “rejected the proposal and insisted that they are entitled to keeping 60% as was the precedent on a recent negotiation during the Nextoil/NNPC OB3 Pipeline project.”
He noted that while the community was yet to resolve the disagreement with another family related to the immediate hosts “came up with their grievance, insisting that they should be considered as part of the host family since they are blood brothers.
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“While the Community Development Committee, CDC, Palace and Chiefs in Council had insisted that no further activity be carried out by the exploration company until all disagreements are resolved, some youths went behind to invite the company to commence activities, insisting that all grievances had been resolved.
“During the attempted entry into the family land hosting the wellhead by the enumerators working for NPDC, fight broke out between the two families. Gunshots and machetes followed and two lives were lost.
“Despite efforts by the elites of the community to invite the military to forestall further attacks and counter-attacks, the community has remained vulnerable with no feasible security presence.”
Chairman of the CDC and former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Dr Olise Imegwu, however, said he learned of the death of one person, blaming the crisis on attempts by the host family to create their own community within the community.
Saying that the company had signed a Global Memorandum of Understanding with the kingdom, he said: “There is only one Aboh kingdom and now the family is saying that before the company can do anything in their land, it must come directly to them. On three occasions that the company came to the land, the family drove them away.”
Contacted, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeleke Adeyinka confirmed that that the community is in crisis over issues relating to oil exploration.
He, however, said he was not aware that there was any case of loss of lives, adding that the police had been on ground to restore peace to the community.