Edo oil, gas producing communities bicker, fault Momoh on non inclusion in project enlistments

A group, Edo State Coalition of Oil/Gas Producing Communities, yesterday, faulted the Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta, Engr. Abubakar Momoh for non including the district that earns the state the name, an oil and gas producing region in his distributions of projects in the state.

Addressing newsmen in Benin in a paper titled “Re: Proposed budget 2024 of the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta -An Appropriation in bad fate and insensitive”, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie Ero, spokesperson for the group, said that they were earlier delighted with the appointment of Hon Abubakar Momoh of Edo State as minister in the Niger Delta Ministry.

He said although Momoh was not from an oil and gas producing community but to them, it was nonetheless a “bird at hand” especially being that it was the first time an Edo State indigene would sit as the head of that interventionist ministry which as earlier indicated, was established to give radical relief and herald the overall development of the Niger Delta states, having been plagued by marginalization and environmental degradation.

Ero, who was the former Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Edo State, added that the excitement following the ministrial appointment of an Edo person to the ministry of Niger Delta seems to have been hasty.

Hon. Ero said that they had thought that Momoh, an astute politician would live up to his deserving statesmanship by seeing himself firstly as an “Edolite” over and above selfish geo-political consideration just as they said that they thought he would at least, have given to “Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser” but that their expectations of him was cut short.

Ero said Momoh has proposed five capital projects in his Edo North even when it is a fact that, that district does not produce oil whereas, there are many deplorable roads deserving urgent attention in the oil producing communities.

He maintained that they are also shocked by the 2024 budgetary proposal for the ministry of Niger Delta submitted to the national assembly, stressing that, the proposed budget is “an appropriation of agony, sorrow and huge disappointment to say the least.

The spokesperson for the group, further called for the immediate review or reappraisal of the budget to give overriding consideration for oil and gas producing communities of the state in line with the contemplation of the Petroleum Industrial Act.

While warning that their peaceful approach on the matter should not be mistaken for cowardice, said, they as the stakeholders, are not new to legitimate agitations for the protection of their rights.

He said though they are sufficiently provoked by this act of his but as law abiding citizens, they have decided to tow the line of peaceful agitation believing that Mr. President Bola Tinubu who has been an apostle of resource control and anti-marginalizion would wade into the matter to right the injustice.

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