Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Ogbia community in Bayelsa State has appealed to Federal Government to reconsider its request for two percent of oil and gas revenue to be allocated to Ogbia nation for the development of the communities.
The Ogbia ethnic leaders were unhappy that decades after oil was discovered in its community, its people still wallow in abject poverty and underdevelopment, allegedly made possible by Nigerian government and International Oil Companies (OICs).
The community leaders were convinced that the revenues would be properly managed by its leaders for human and infrastructural development of communities in Ogbia ethnic nation, instead of current practice of allocating to state government.
Chairman, Ogbia Brotherhood Unity branch, Abuja, Robert Nadioni, who renewed the call at the end of year meeting of Ogbia people, in the nation’s capital, also suggested that the road that led to the first oil well in Nigeria, in Oloibiri, from the East-West road, be declared Federal Road and be treated as such.
He said the community leaders have concluded plans to engage the State and Federal government as regards the request and other demands of the community particularly the issue of insecurity in Ogbia communities.
According to Nadioni, “We are worried about the state of insecurity in our communities.
“Early this year, houses of two prominent sons of Ogbia Kingdom were attacked and destroyed and properties worth millions of Naira carted away by unknown gunmen in Oloibiri and Okoroba Town.
“Since then there have being other cases of kidnapping, killings, sea piracy, armed robbery and several other crimes in the Ogbia Kingdom.
“These criminal activities affect the economic progress of our communities negatively.
“We trust that the Bayelsa State Government and security agencies will listen to our cry and live up to their primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties of the people.”
He, however, informed the Ogbia ethnic nation that the proposed institutionalisation of an annual memorial lecture in honour of Chief Melford Obiene Okilo and his legacies, as well as other developmental projects, have received tremendous support from all concerned.
The Enai Ogbia, King Charles Owaba, promised a royal blessing to any genuine course that would herald socioeconomic development of Ogbia communities.
He, however, reminded all community members that development is a shared responsibility that should be taken seriously by all.
A former member of House of Representatives, Nadu Karibo, presented a paper that exposed the people to the essence of love and unity amongst the people for collective growth and development.