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Tension in A/Ibom communities over reconstitution of Oil, Gas Committee

Tension in A/Ibom communities over reconstitution of Oil, Gas Committee -

By Ikora Ayungbe,Uyo

Crisis is looming in Effiat community in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom state following alleged refusal of Okon Bassey Okon-led Oil and Gas Relations Committee to relinquish office after it was dissolved last year.

The Okon-led committee was dissolved in November 13th 2017 after a vote of no confidence was passed on it and another committee headed by comrade Saviour Bassey Itabana, reconstituted to replace it.

Sources revealed that Okon has continued to parade himself as the chairman of the committee and allegedly defrauding oil companies despite the vote of no confidence on him.

The youths threatened that if urgent steps were not taken by the state government they would have no option than to resort to arms to remove the old executives from office.

They appealed to governor Udom Emmanuel to urgently intervene in current leadership tussle before the situation gets out of hand.

In a letter addressed to the state Commissioner of Transport and Petroleum Resources, Oman Esin by the Effiat Ikpoto Oil and Gas Relations Committee dated 5th April,2018 and signed by Comrade Saviour Bassey Itabana, and 16 member committee the youths accused Okon of allegedly embezzling N3million donated by Exprotech Nigeria limited for the purchase of vehicle for His Royal Highness, Obuong Asukwo Okon Ekpo IV.

They further claimed he illegally collects N8.8million monthly from Associated Oil and Gas Services limited in the name of security services.

Some of the youth leaders who spoke to our correspondent, today, lamented that the continuous stay in power of the Okon  Bassey Okon-led exco would only lead to  acrimony in the community.

Speaking separately, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, Samuel Bassey and Asuquo and Uduak Edet Udo, both community leaders said the discovery of crude oil in their communities has brought pains and sorrow instead of blessings to the people.

According to them, “in Effiat clan there is no functional primary school in the area. No health facilities, no good drinking water. No form of development in the area because of the fraudulent activities of the previous committee leaders.

It was gathered that barrister Asuquo Okpo, who was the pioneer chairman of the committee for over 15 years, was allegedly using Effiat People Community Initiative to loot the common wealth of the clan.

But in swift reaction, Okon Bassey Okon said: “nobody has the power except the clan head, Obuong Asukwo Okon Ekpo iv who has the power dissolve or pass a vote of no confidence on the committee”.

When contacted the chairman of the newly reconstituted Effiat Ikpoto Oil and Gas Committee, Comrade Saviour Bassey Itabana, said community has been raped by previous leaders.

He lamented “it is unfortunate that a clan that plays host to multinational companies like Oriental Energy Resources limited, Addax Petroleum  Development Company limited, Moni-Pulo Nigeria limited, Total Exploration and Producing Nigeria limited, Mobil Producing Unlimited, Associated Oil and Gas Services Limited and Universal Energy Limited should stay without even a primary school”

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