By Godwin Utuedoye,
Workers of OML 30/32, Heritage Company, an operational outfit of NPDC Ughelli, have staged a peaceful protest today, Monday, April 16, 2018 to the ‘A’ Division of the Nigerian Police, Ughelli calling for the immediate payment of their six months salaries arears and removal of one, Morrison Idiovwan as the CDB chairman.
Protesting workers of OML30/32 in Ughelli
Speaking to newsmen, one of the protesting workers from Eruemukohwarien community, Mr. Oruma Ogboru accused Morrison Idiopha of being the major problem in all the oil blocs in the area. He said as the CDB chairman and representative of the people, one of his duty was to ensure that all entitlement accrueing to oil producing communities under his jurisdiction are paid and those working under OML 30/32 are paid their salaries as and when due, but however accused him of betraying the workers and the communities for his selfish and fraudulent gains.
Stating further, Mr. Oruma Ogboru noted that, the tenure of Morrison Idiopha of three years which has since expired, was illegally extended by three months by President General’s of some communities who he alleged where invited to Lagos by Mr. Morrison Idiopha and was bribed with cash sum of One million naira each for tenure elongation.
Protesting workers at the ‘A’ Division, Ughelli
He maintained that Morrison Idiopha has fraudulently rated some communities as pipeline communities which he said do not have pipelines but rather have facilities, tank farm, manifold and compressors; such as the Ughelli Public Station, UPS, and the Ughelli Public Control Station, UPCS.
He said because the top management of Heritage is using Morrison Idiopha against his own people, he has refused to speak even if the welfare of the people is being tempered. A position that has made workers salaries and arears to be owed for over six months presently.
Mr. Ogboru added that all the oil blocs, the workers in OML 30/32 have resolved and called for the immediate removal of the CDB chairman and immediate payment of their back log salaries to avert crisis and a showdown between workers/communities and the company.
He stated further that the General Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU backing Morrison Idiopha tenure has expired and thereby called for a new one, saying several meetings to review the memorandum has been fixed but was aborted by Morrison Idiopha, the CDB chairman because he knew that there is nothing like tenure extension or elongation.
Corroborating the claim, Prince Kelvin Omabaye who identify himself as the youth chairman of Otovwodo community in Ughelli said, they are tired of Morrison Idiopha as he has defrauded everyone including the Ughelli monarch, noting that they don’t want him to hold any position associated to oil activities in the area as he cannot be trusted.
Protesters carrying placards
He disclosed that money that was supposed to be paid to the different communities under OML 30/32 since 2015 till date has not been disbursed to them, while workers are owed salaries for months. He accused the CDB chairman of not paying contractors working under him even he has been paid all the money. Prince Kelvin Omabaye who was visibly angry noted that some PG’S who are opposed to Morrison fraudulent way of running the affairs of the CDB were not been carried along as most the activities which they are supposed to be part are done with their consultation.
Prince Kelvin Omabaye warned that to avert imminent crisis, the immediate removal of Morrison Idiopha is sacrosant and will bring peace to the affected workers and communities.
Speaking on behalf of the OML 30 protesting workers, Comrade Ejenavi Excel disclosed that since the last time NPDC increased their salaries before the emergence of Heritage, workers salaries and other welfare packages have not been revisited and, that whenever the workers raises issues concerning workers welfare, the management of Heritage will threaten to sack all of them.
Comrade Ejenavi also lamented the issue of disparity between indigeneous, (communities workers), and the non-indigenes whom he alleged that even though they all do the same job with the same skills, their salaries are far higher than theirs. This he attributed to the bad representation of Morrison Idiopha whom he said is doing some shady deals with top managements of the company which has made the company to look down on the indigenous workers.
He further accused Morrison Idiopha of taking bribe from Heritage and call for his immediate removal and for Heritage to pay up their six months salaries and increased their salaries as and when due.
With different inscription such as “Heritage pay our salaries to Otovwodo Community say no to Morrison second tenure”, the angry protesters sang and danced at the front of the Police station as their representatives were said to have gone in to see the DPO.
All calls put across to both Heritage and the CDB chairman, Morrison Idiopha didn’t go through as their lines did not connect all. As at that the time of filing this report, the protesting workers where still at the police station singing and calling for Morrison Idiopha removal.