Traditional rulers from oil producing Ugbo Kingdom of Ondo State have backed the merger of the associations in the kingdom that were dealing with oil companies operating in the state.
The traditional rulers in their resolution sent to the state government and addressed to the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said the merger of the Ugbo-based associations would further bring development to the state.
According to the resolution signed by the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, the Olubo of Obenla, Oba Andrew Ikuesan, the Alagho of Odo-Nla, Oba Elias Ikuomola and the Odoka of Obe-Ogbaro, Oba Obafemi Ogbaro, the communities in Ugbo land were in tune with the formation of the committee.
The traditional rulers noted that the associations brought together under the name, Ilaje (Ugbo) Coastal Communities Development Committee (IUCCDC) had come to stay.
They added that the membership of the said committee had been enlarged to cater for the contending interests.
The resolution read in part, “That the Ilaje Ugbo Central Working Committee which has an automatic members of all traditional rulers in Ugbo land is empowered to pilot and supervise the affairs of the IUCCDC.
“That all traditional rulers in Ugbo land, having resolved to work together as one family, hereby enjoin our subjects to work with and give adequate support to the Ilaje IUCCDC in the interest of Ugbo land.”
Meanwhile, the people of Ugbo land have again reiterated their stand on the planned merger of the Kingdom with Mahin Kingdom over issues of oil exploration and exploitation.
The people, in a letter to the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, also accused Chevron Nigeria Limited of attempting to abandon its responsibility to the people of the oil producing communities of the state.
According to them, the merger of the oil associations in the area was done in line with the directive of the oil company which gave a deadline of April 2013 for the exercise.
The people, however, noted that the new twist to the matter that planned to bring in Mahin Kingdom was aimed at short changing the people of Ugbo land.
They claimed that with the deadlock on the issue that Chevron had not been implementing the GMoU signed with the community for many years now.
According to the people, bursary payment to students had been stopped, the local content aspect of the memorandum had not been implemented, while the oil company has also not been performing the community responsibilities.
The letter read, “Chevron has refused to implement three years GMoU with us, with its attendant suffering on our people. We kindly call on Mr. Governor to urgently wade into this matter before it gets out of hand because there is always limit to human endurance.”