By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The people of Udu Kingdom in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State on Tuesday rejected the attachment of the Police in Udu Council to Burutu Area Command just as they demanded for the sitting of flow station within the area.
The Udu people who were led by the Youth President of Udu Kingdom, Comrade Sunday
Subi during a Peaceful protest said, “We totally reject this. As if that is not enough, the NPDC, which has been drilling oil from Udu for more than 30 years decides not to site a flow station here. So this is also to demand for a flow Station to be sited in Udu.
“We were initially with the Ughelli Area Command and they later took us to Warri and now to Burutu. The distance between here and Burutu is between 4 to 8 hours. However, the distance between here and Ughelli or Warri is between 20 to 30 minutes.
“We are saying that with the number of communities we have in Udu, we are fit to have our own area command, but if they say they can’t giveus an area command, they should attach us to either the Ughelli Area Command or Warri Area Command.
“Our leaders have written petitions before now and this is the last action we will take to let the world know we have been demanding for these things.”
The people issued the Police a fourteen day ultimatum to return to the overseeing authority of flow stations from Burutu Council to either Ughelli or Warri.
They also demanded that the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC locates a flow station within its land area to compensate its contribution to the nation’s daily crude oil export.
They warned that, “If after 14 days of this protest and we see no action, we will be forced to go ahead and lock all oil wells in Udu Kingdom.”
The people took their protests to the Udu Council Sectretariat in Otor-Udu, the Delta State Government House Annex, Warri and the Delta Rainbow Television, in Warri before terminating at the palace of the Ovie of Udu Kingdom.
A woman leader amongst the protesters, Mrs. Florence Jigbale said the distance between Udu Communities and Burutu, which is an Ijaw riverine area, is too much for the people to contemplate.
“The question is how do they expect us to be going that far? We can’t take this. Udu is big enough to be an area command; we have 36 communities in Udu, why will they attach us to a place that far? To get to Burutu you will go past Ughievwen and Ughelli before we can
start the journey to Burutu. Udu won’t agree with them on this.
“They should give us our own police area command, Udu is big enough, at least the federal government knows the benefits it gets from Udu. The same thing goes for the flow station demand”.
Addressing the protesters, the Vice Chairman of Council, Hon Justice Iyasere, said the issues
being protested would be promptly addressed.
Hon. Iyasere noted that the chairman of the Council, Hon Jite Brown, was already in Asaba with the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa stressing that he would convey their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
He also urged them to be peaceful and avoid the lure of taking the law into their hands, assuring that the council would do the much it could to ensure that the proper things are done and that justice is served.