Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Special Report: The Position And Marginalization Of Ndoki Ethnic Nationality




Written and compiled by:
Comrade Henry O. Nwaigwe
Youth Coordinator
Ndoki Youth Federation and
Ohuru Youth Grand Alliance
08062836738.

Introduction:
The search for oil and Gas in Nigeria goes back to 1908 by the Nigeria Bitumen Corporation a German Firm under the Colonial Administration.   But actual search and discovery of Oil is traceable to 1937 by Shell D’Archy – the forerunner of present day Shell Petroleum Development Company which had the sole concessionary right to explore and produce Oil in Nigeria.

In 1957, Shell British Petroleum drilled the first Crude Oil at Oloibiri in old Rivers State now Bayelsa State.  Thus, Oloibiri became the first place in history where crude Oil was drilled in Commercial quantity and launched Nigeria into the World Map of Producing Nation.

Her position as an Oil Producing Nation was further consolidated as Oil was discovered in other places like Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers States.

The Exploration, Discovery and Drilling of Oil in Nigeria were not only a blessing to the Nation, it also brought with it attendant consequences suffered only by the producing Communities.

An attempt to respond to these problems led to the formation of interventionist Agencies/Ministries over the years. Some of the interventionist agencies both at the Federal and State levels include the following:

1.       Petroleum Technological Development Fund (PTDF) by Gen. Yakubu Gowon 1973. To assist or offer scholarship to the students in applied sciences and technical studies with selected institutions mainly in the Niger Delta region.   

2.       Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) and 13% oil derivation by Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida 1986. To develop manpower, infrastructure and share in the oil production revenue to host communities respectively.

3.       Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) by Gen. Sani Abacha 1994. For national infrastructure development.  

4.       Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by Gen. Olusegun Aramu Obasanjo 2000 for manpower and infrastructure development in Niger Delta States.

5.       Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) by Gen. Olusegun Aramu Obasanjo 2004.  To monitor the revenue out flow and inflow between international oil companies (IDCS) and federal government.

6.       Ministry of Niger Delta affairs (MNDA) by Late President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’dua 2008.  Specifically for the development and implementation of Niger Delta master plan.

7.       Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ASOPADEC) by His Excellency Chief Dr. T. A. Orji 2009.  to administer part of 13% Oil deviation to host communities.

8.       Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by His Excellency Emmanuel Uduaghan.  2008.

9.       Proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), containing 10% equity shares to Oil Communities yet to be signed into Law.  Initiated by Late President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’dua 2007. To reduces overbearing control of government and oil companies on oil industry and to allow the host communities with specific participation in upstream sector.     

10.     Local content Act designed to promote indigenous participation in oil industry signed into law by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2010.

11.     Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment program (SURE – P) by president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan 2012 to cushion the effect of petroleum subsidy removal.

12.     Amnesty program for ex-Niger Delta militant formed by late president Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’dua in 2009 to appease the agitation over neglect of Niger Delta region.    

In addition to relative establishments indicating that, crude Oil operations were underscored as Economic mainstream of the Nation.  
Unfortunately, the oil bearing communities that plays host to Oil Company operations are yet to attract reasonable impact of Oil dividends.

THE BRIEF HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF NDOKI ETHNIC NATIONALITY AND THE CREATION OF UKWA EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA.

The origin of Ndoki in the 15th Centuries is traced to civil war that broke out in the then powerful Benin Kingdom.  This war caused total division of the old Benin Kingdom as series of migrants departed to the East.  One of the Migratory groups was the Ijo who settled around Akassa.  A part of these group left Akassa towards the Northwards along the Egenni and Orashi Rivers to Oguta.  Along the line, they came in contact with the Ibo town of Umunoha in Owerri and Ndizuorgu in the former Orlu Division.

The emigrants pushed southwards settling at Okolomakiri in Azumini creek.  They moved from there to a site, now, occupied by Umuagbayi.  It was here they broke into two groups.  One section to a placed called Okoloma (land of the curlew birds) that later became known as Obani or Bonny.  The other section remained behind on the site known as Umuagbayi, Azuogu, Ayama and Obunku.

Part of the emigrants who reached Bonny, retraced their steps back to Opobo along the Imo Rivers and settled or traded with earlier co-emigrants.
It is a truism that going by the migratory era in this context Ndoki people are ancestrally, biologically and anthropologically linked with the Ijos who migrated with them when the war broke out in Ancient Benin Kingdom. Our culture, tradition and practices are explicit and clear on our origin.

It was on the strength of this coupled with struggle for political space that the uncompromised quest to realize a separate or delineated environment where Ndoki and its traits will be noticed and respected propelled our founding fathers to opt for creation of a local government.  Thus Ukwa East Local Government Area came into being in 1992 from the defunct Ukwa Local Government Area. 

The initiators and proponents of its creation saw it as a meaningful objectives and welcome development hence it proffered diversified opportunities to complement the effort of our ancestors where distinct origin, ideas, values, knowledge, institution, belief, socio-economic and political environment would be homogenously provided to synthesize the practice of our common good which refers to as “a social state which guarantees each person his/her rightful place in a community in which he/she can freely develop his/her God-given talent to attain bodily, spiritual and moral perfection and become richer in internal and external goods through his/her services to the community”.  The geo-political formation of Ukwa East in particular meant to depend upon this was targeted at drawing the attention of National and state governments to the backwardness of Ndoki land primarily occasioned by marginalization coming only from their politically induced self-development.

This is why it is unacceptable and should be discouraged especially when often times, most of the projects the dominant people in the position of trust managed to site at Ndoki land in Ukwa East are subsumed under Ukwa West Local Government this anti-delineation practice orchestrated by NDDCs administrative Map has continued to attract criticism and condemnation by those who understand the classification.

THE DETAIL BACKGROUND OF OIL DISCOVERY IN ABIA STATE VIS-À-VIS OIL PRODUCING/PROSPECTIVE AREAS.

Before the above sub-heading is demystified, it is necessary the indulgence of the interest groups be craved to the events of pre-oil discovery era of Abia State and creation of Ukwa East.  Arguably, the division of defunct Ukwa Local Government Area was executed without careful regard to its future implications.

In as much as it was not a condemned venture, regrettably, perhaps due to rush tendencies given the situation then, the progenitors of the delineation exercise failed to consider or address the grey areas such as:
a)       Re-grouping the communities with Oil deposits to Areas they belong for specific revenue and infrastructure locations.
b)       Defining the durable and specific position of Ndoki Participation in oil and Gas activities.

c)       Provision of common platform to achieve a sustainable collective growth and expansion of home frontiers.

d)       Creation of in-discriminatory forum centers for think tanks and exchange of ideas to pave way for promotion of sensitizations.

e)       Establishment of workable frame work to drive the process of correction of future mistakes in oil industry and other aspects of contextual pursuit.

Today, what this de-formative exercise has resulted to requires painstaking effort to redress.

To be quite explicit, Oil was discovered at Ohuru and other communities of Ukwa East in the Era of defunct Ukwa Local Government Area, owing to lack of successive review, its geographical exploration classification, displaced Ohuru in particular, to redeemably subsumed under any of the Oil field in Ukwa West.  An incidence that has kept generating controversy as well as total divestment of Oil activities and its attendant benefit to Ukwa East.

OIL EXPLORATION IN RETROSPECT AT RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES OF ABIA STATE
It is on verifiable record with Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC), that Oil and Gas were discovered at multiple communities of Ukwa West, Ukwa East and Ugwunagbo in 1958.  Notable among them are:
Owaza – Asa – Ukwa West
Umuorie – Asa – Ukwa West
Oza – Asa – Ukwa West
Umuikiko – Asa – Ukwa West
Ohuru – Ndoki – Ukwa East
Akwete – Ndoki – Ukwa East
Obeaku – Ndoki – Ukwa East
Akirikauku – Ndoki – Ukwa East
Akanu – Ngwa – Ugwunagbo
Obeaja – Ngwa – Ugwunagbo
Obuzo – Ngwa – Ugwunagbo

1.       Owaza, Umuorie, Oza, and Umuikiko are credited with sixty three (63) Oil wells.
2.       Ohuru, Akwete, Obeaku and Akirikauku are credited with Nine (9) capped Oil Wells and two (2) uncapped wells at Osugwo – Ohuru.
3.       Akanu, Obeaja and Obuzo are credited with Five (5) Oil Wells. 
Owaza, Umuorie and Oza have volume Oil production wells while Ohuru, Akwete, Obeaku, Akirikauku, Akanu, Obeaja and obuzo have productive value reserved wells. (Marginal Fields).

FOR CLEARER CLASSIFICATION
There are seven (7) formalized Oil and Gas fields in Abia State:
1.       Imo River I – Owaza                 -        28 wells
2.       Imo River II – Owaza                 -        23 wells
3.       Isimiri         -    Umuorie           -        8 wells
4.       Mgboko       -    Akwete             -        2 wells
5.       Ohuru         -    Ohuru             -        4 wells
6.       Oza             -    Oza                  -        3 wells
7.       Obuzo         -   Obuzo              -        2 wells
8.       Akirikauku - Akirikauku         -        3 wells
9.       Akanu         -   Akanu               -        2 wells
10.     Obeaja        -   Obeaja              -        1 wells
11.     Umuikiko -   Umnikiko            -        1 wells         
12.     Ohuru         -   Osugwo           -        2 uncapped

Ohuru, Mgboko and Akirikauku Oil fields, are located at Ukwa East with Four (4) Oil and Gas capped wells credited to Ohuru Two (2) to Akwete and three to Akirikauku respectively.

For accurate record purposes and self certainty please, refer to stipulated clauses under:
1.       Land Area department of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC).
2.       Port Harcourt District two (PhD2) Owaza flow station.
3.       Clauses 10 and 24 Oil mining lease granted under the mineral Act to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) by Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
4.       Oil Industry’s Operation under No. 6 of 1978.
5.       Production Department, Shell Development company Limited (SPDC).

SOURCES: Head Land East, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).  Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, Department of Oil Mineral Operation Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Geological/Explorative Department.

Ohuru, Akwete and Akirikauku fields are expressed in serial form below:
1.           Ohuru East “A” Location (well -1) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-A).
2.           Ohuru East “B” Location (well -2) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-B).
3.           Ohuru East “C” Location (well -3) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-C).
4.           Ohuru North “D” Location (well -4) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-D).
5.           Akwete East “A” Location (well -1) our ref: lane/101. 5(ow.8-A)
6.           Akwete East “B” Location (well -2) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-B)
7.           Akirikauku East “A” Location (well -1) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-A)
8.           Akirikauku East “A” Location (Well -1) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-A)
9.           Akirikauku East “B” Location (Well -2) our ref: lane/101.5(ow.8-A)
Source: 1983 SPDC verification letters and Chevron

It is needful to have a requisite knowledge of stage process of oil discovery and production of a field.  Oil exploration license (OEL) is a concession granted to international oil companies (IOCS) by the Federal Government to explore or search for crude oil in a community or an area.  During this period, a seismological company will be engaged to transverse the designated areas for want of Crude Oil. A fruitful sign of oil discovery will set in the issuance of oil Prospecting License (OPL) to asses the hydrocarbon potentials in the oil discovery wells.  This exercise is usually organized by a company with advanced earth science facilities, responsible for processing and interpreting in 3-D configuration data from the hydrocarbon reservoir over the life of oil field.  This stage or process is used to confirm the potential of economic production of petroleum on the oil field which determines the issuance of oil mining lease (OML) as well as acquisition of the field by an investor. 

Oil mining lease license (OML) is granted to an investor under joint venture partnership (JVC) upon confirmation of economic or commercial production with initial rate of 15,000 – 20,000 barrel per day (BPD).  The oil well is designated as oil block once the process is finalized and successful bidder acquired the field with the issuance of OML.

Note: A company can not be issued or accept an OML if the Field has not been confirmed with outstanding quality, duration value and commercial production which starts with 15,000 to 20,000 Barrel per Day (BPD). OML is equivalent to ready or set for commercial production. Incidentally, greater number of capped oil wells in and out of Ukwa East Local Government Area especially Ohuru Community has, their OML resides with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for more than Fifty Years with undisclosed reasons for non-development of the fields.

The Pipelines across Communities in Ukwa East includes:
(a)          Obohia  (b) Obunku (c) Ohanso (d) Akwete (e) Azumini (f) Ohandu (g) Umuibe (h) Mkpaohioba (i) Obeaku. In addition to these, the 2005 Ohuru/Obuzo oil prospect by UGNL/IDSL JV 171 is a further proof that oil and gas abound in Ohuru and Communities in Ukwa East. With these four locations at Ohuru, two at Akwete and two at Akirikauku coupled with Nine (9) communities with pipelines across, it is no longer deniable fact that Ukwa East is eminently qualified to participate in any oil and gas activity.

THE IMPLICATION OF WRONG TREATMENT OF UKWA EAST OIL AND GAS NOMENCLATURE
The wrong treatment of Ukwa East and its participation in mainstream of Oil activities or producing was blamed on neglect or inability of Oil operating Company (SPDC), State and Local Government to put Oil record of communities in Ukwa East in proper perspective.  With this development, Ukwa East is seeing as non-Oil producing Area thereby, put it at serious disadvantaged to other producing Areas.

The effect of this has registered unprecedented deprivation ranging from: socio-economic, Political, Human and Environmental development.

Adequately informed by this, the attention of relevant authorities have been sought through letters and other several means amongst which are SPDC dated November 1, 1999, Senator Adolphus Wagbara dated September 15, 2003, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) zonal office Owerri February 25, 2013 and subsequent meetings held between Ohuru Community representatives and SPDC’S Sustainable Development Department (SCD) on August 2, 2006 and DPR August 19, 2013. further engagement have also been made by Ohuru Youth Grand alliance (OYGA) which attracted the visit of SPDC to Ohuru – Ndoki community on August 27 and 31 2012 with firm promise that SPDC development team will evolve meaningful response from the visit.  Two year down the line the report is yet to be release.  The forgoing were some of the preliminary efforts made by few worried indigenes who see this course as a task that must be accomplished for inclusive development of Ukwa East.

The passionate bid as well as endless search to correct this wrong treatment which has not really provided soft landing ground for change in Oil NOMENCLATURE as posited above, has also opened windows of opportunities to source means of its recovery.

However, in her responses, SPDC as well as DPR advices the Ohuru Representative to approach their Local Government Council as it remains one of the entities of government in the position to initiate measures for correction of the abnormalities.  Incidentally, the move to provide collaborative engagement of Local Government for this purpose has not been realized owing to Political Forces opposed to justice and equity.

It is a popular axiom, that, a problem shared is half solved.  To this end, the local government council in conjunction with spirited concerned indigenes should be provoked into providing a take-off ground toward realizing a non-stop opportunity for oil giants of Ndoki land. It became imperative hence, a careful exploration of Ukwa East environment makes one feel scornful, resentful, pity, insecure and isolated, and this is attributable to inability of Ukwa East people to recognize the fact that they are suffering in the midst of plenty.  The complacent attitude of the people towards this situation has further relegated the course to the background. It is important to note the fact that it is a wake up call that needs strenuous persuasive approach to regain our collective lost heritage.

Ukwa East should deploy the necessary machineries within her reach knowing that, the Land is suffering from lack of Modern Infrastructure and the few that exist, are in serious state of decay e.g. collapsed school buildings, empathetic road network, absence of potable water, capacity building, and so on. Besides, we suffer total denial of Appointable positions in the Oil Industry.  Worst still, the small and Medium Business outfits in Ndoki Land, are shutdown due to inaccessibility of external Patronage.  We have had to face with chronic alienation resulting to psychological and dehumanization problems without defined process of remedy. 

This is a serious issue that ought not to be treated with Kid gloves.  “We must work while it is day, Night shall come when no one shall delight in work” let the concerned indigenes of Ukwa East in the Diaspora and home stead be touched to team up to fight this injustice for posterity sake.

THE OIL INDUSTRY/INTERVENTIONIST AGENCIES AND THE CONTINUAL DENIAL OF APPOINTABLE POSITIONS TO NDOKI MAN

As stated earlier, the bases for the establishment of various interventionist agencies and petroleum enabling laws/Acts are traced to the initial oil exploration of Nigerian environment by the International Oil Companies (IOCS), which subsequently brought the established or sustained presence of oil activities through the discovery of oil wells and ceaseless production of revenue generating crude oil.  This development created diversified opportunities to place petroleum sector on one of the Robust Sectors in the Nigerian state of economy.  However, in this context several areas have been denied with the benefit of upstream sector owning to presumably selective policies or approach of oil companies in the production of crude oil especially against communities with few number of oil wells coupled with long distance apart to any available flow station where the supposed flow line would have intersected.  Perhaps, this is one of the reasons for non-production activities in these marginal field communities.

Sadly, enough, this development is solely responsible for denial of appointment or employment by the respective oil companies given that, indigenous advantage enhanced by production quota remains one of the major requirements for consideration in the oil company – community healthy relation that encourages human capital development.  Similarly, it has continued to generate chain reaction as the interventionist agencies capitalizes on the accreditation of oil producing area by oil companies for developmental attention. This accreditation will only be made real with tangible or visible production of crude oil; this is why the emphasis to light up these oil fields should not be taken for granted. Again, it is perceptible to say that this selective approach of oil companies was responsible for lopsided relationship between oil producing less privileged areas and the interventionist agencies since it is incapable of providing a defined placement of the effected areas in the mainstream of oil operations.

One aspect in which it has grossly affected the Ndoki man and other areas with similar circumstance, is the non-recognition and acceptance of her candidature in the Board of existed and existing interventionist agencies. For instance: a flashback to the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC), depicted its establishment and existence without little or no consideration to Ndoki Man.

Available Record shows that, the first and second State Representative of the Board of OMPADEC, were allocated to Asa which saw Mr. Esiaba (now Chief) as the pioneer Abia State Representative, succeeded by Engr. Friday Ogbuji also from Asa.

The present Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established in 2000 by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration.  The attempt by Ndoki man (Chief Onyema Olugie) to be appointed as Pioneer Abia State Commissioner was calculative thwarted with court injunction, petition ridden, high powered political interest, and so on influenced by Asa clan, unpatriotic individuals of Ukwa East, Abia State Government, and Federal Government acting on misinformation that hinged on what they tagged: “Ukwa East a non-Oil producing Area contrary to NDDC Act”.  Thereafter, Engr. Okechukwu Nwaubani from Umunteke Asa was preferred.

Further appointments, were extended to Chief E. U. Nwele from Owaza-Asa who served as Director, Education, Health and Social Services (DEHSS) and later, Director, Youth, Sports, Culture and Women.  Worst still, available record further indicates that other Senior and Intermediate positions in Abia State NDDC office are dominated by Asa and few Umuahia indigenes.

In all of this, Ndoki is consigned to history.  The fallout of this has left Educated Ndoki Young Men and Women at the mercy of trampling the street without gainful employment.  What an unfair treatment.

The establishment of Abia State oil producing Area Development Commission (ASOPADEC) on July 2009 was to ensure proper and effective Administration of part of 13% Oil Derivations on the Oil bearing Communities.  Courtesy of Abia State Governor, His Excellency Chief Dr. T.A. Orji.

Prior to the formation of the Board, the oil and Gas host community of Nigeria Abia State Chapter whose membership was drawn from mainly the three Local Government Areas that made up Abia as oil producing state viz Ukwa West, Ukwa East and Ugwunagbo having initiated and sponsored the proposal leading the process of establishment of the commission.  Its general secretary from Ohandu Ndoki (Chief Lawrence C. Herbert) in joint effort with the National Chairman of host communities of Nigeria Chief Alfred Bubor lobbied to consider Chief Lawrence C. Herbert to serve as the Executive Secretary of the Commission, incidentally, there was high powered counter lobbying by Anti-Ndoki Agenda and the vision was buried.  Even though one of the requirements was based on senior career civil servant.  Perhaps, it was calculatively introduced to frustrate the move.

Afterwards, Hon. Samuel Nworgu from Owaza-Asa was appointed the Chairman leaving Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley from Obohia Ndoki with the Representative of Ukwa Land.

To further degenerate this injustice, precisely on October 2011, each of the Traditional Ruler in Ukwa West Oil Producing Communities, benefited from a gift of four (4) Runner Jeep by Abia State Oil Commission (ASOPADEC) through Government directives.

One of the questions this gesture has generated is; has ASOPADEC LAW not provided the definition of Oil producing communities/Areas?
Are there no Oil Producing Communities in Ukwa East, following ASOPADEC LAW under interpretation 2, paragraph 8 and 9? That no single traditional ruler from Ukwa East was found qualified to benefit from the largesse?

It is justifiable to address these issues with the proper application of the Law establishing ASOPADEC Emphatically, this injustice has reached advanced stage to spur a well thoughtful Ndoki man to self interrogation and answers, knowing that its persistency is posing potential danger.

In order to avert misgivings, restiveness, bickering, and so on in this part of Niger Delta region, following youth consciousness of Cheat, repression, Lopsidedness, Political, Social and Industrial pre-dominance by sister Local Government through the aid of Government forces, Ndoki people in Abia State are demanding for definite Nomenclature in the oil activities.  This will pave way for proper definition in the share of position on the Interventionist Agencies for oil producing areas in Niger Delta.


THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF ABSENT REPRESENTATION OF NDOKI INDIGENES IN THE VARIOUS INTERVENTIONIST AGENCIES

Suffice to say that, the reasonable demand to address once and for all, the Oil Nomenclature of Ndoki which seeks the re-definition of Oil activities between Ukwa East, Ukwa West as well as other oil producing Local Government Areas of Abia State, is predicated on the following:

That in 2001 to 2003, there were total of twenty seven (27) Electricity projects, Twenty Eight (28) class room blocks of six (6) rooms each, and one (1) Erosion project, allocated to Abia State by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).  Apart from one (1) controversial electricity project at Ohuru Community yet to be completed, the remaining ones were sited at Asa land.  It is pathetic to note that allocation of project and rare executive of it to Ndoki Land is only targeted at political settlement or compensation and not on the principle or statutory recognition of Ukwa East as oil producing Area since no one is there to monitor compliance.

The few projects for Ndoki which were captured in Abia State NDDC’s 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 expenditure lists misattracted award attention owing to negligent relationship by the representative on the board of NDDC.  A development that has been in practice since inception of NDDC. 

In the 1980s and 90s when there were little or no indigenous interventionist agencies, Ndoki land was noted and respected for factors of capacity building (eg) Obohia-Ohuru-Ugwunagbo Aba road, Umuogo Abia Palm company, defunct Ohanso Technical College, Ndoki Grammar School Obohia, Ikwueke Girls Secondary School Ohambele, Rubber Research institute, Akwete, Ohuru Comprehensive Secondary School, Obohia – Azumini – Ukanafun road, exploration activities, water reticulation and so on.  These were highly rated infrastructures with quality functionaries designed for human Capital Development to guarantee the advancement of successive generations.

Currently, these former viable infrastructures are no longer serving their purposes due to lack of maintenance culture or upgrading. Respectively, the interventionist agencies were charged amongst other things with the sole responsibility of intervening in infrastructure decay.  Unfortunately, the reverse is the case.  The presence of interventionist agencies since it cannot consolidate on the gains or output of our past patriotic fellows whose political effort left legacies with the structures mentioned above, it is no need hiding the unfairness of interventionist agencies to Ndoki land.  Considering the number of years varieties of them have existed as specified earlier in this paper.  In fact, it has returned Ndoki land to primordial era.  In other words, it is has distracted it from pushing for socio-political and economic foundation to achieve a place where Ndoki will proudly call her own.

THE TABLE SHOWING THE LIST OF POSITION AND BENEFICIARIES  

S/N
POSITION
YEAR
AGENCY
LGA
NAME
COMM.
1
COMMISSIONER
1986-90
OMPADEC
UKWA WEST
MR. ESIABA
OZA
2.
 COMMISSIONER
1991-92
OMPADEC
UKWA WEST
F. OGBUJI
OZA
3
 COMMISSIONER
2001-03
NDDC
UKWA WEST
O. NWAUBANI
UMUNTEKE
4
 COODINATOR
2001-07
NDDC
UKWA WEST
ENGR. ADIELE
UMUNTEKE
5
 COMMISSIONER
2007-09
NDDC
UKWA WEST
A. NWAGBOSO
UMUNTEKE
6
 COMMISSIONER
2009-11
NDDC
UKWA WEST
AHURUEGBE
UMUNTEKE
7
 COMMISSIONER
2011-13
NDDC
UKWA WEST
NWAGBOSO
UMUNTEKE
8
 DIR. E.H.S.S
2007-12
NDDC
UKWA WEST
O. ADIELE
UMUNTEKE
9
 DIR. E.H.S.S
2001-13
NDDC
UKWA WEST
E.U. NWELE
OWAZA
10
 DIR. Y.W.S.C.
2003-07
NDDC
UKWA WEST
MR. NWACHI
OWAZA
11
 COORDINATOR
2008-
MNDA
UKWA WEST
MR. NWACHI
OWAZA
12
 AG. COORDINATOR
2007-11
NDDC
UKWA WEST
 ENGR. OBEKA
OWAZA
13
 COORDINATOR
2011-
NDDC
UKWA WEST
CHF. ROGERS
OWAZA
14
 CHAIRMAN
2009-13
ASOPADEC
UKWA WEST
SAM NWOGU
OWAZA
15
 COMMISSIONER
2013-
NDDC
UKWA WEST
SAM NWOGU
OWAZA
16
REPS. UKWA LAND
2009-13
ASOPADEC
UKWA EAST
EMEKA STANLEY
OBOHIA
17
 ASSIST.DIR. DMIN
2005-
NDDC
UKWA EAST
NKWONNTA
AKWETE
18
 CHAIRMAN
2014-
ASOPADEC
UKWA EAST
EMEKA STANLEY
   OBOHIA
19
 ASST. DIR. CAC
2005-
NDDC
UMUAHIA
I. NWIGWE
UMUAHIA
20
 SPC
2004-
NDDC
UMUAHIA
ENGR. OBEKA
UMUAHIA

THE LIST OF PART OF PROJECTS AWARDED AND EXECUTED IN ABIA STATE FROM 2001 – 2011

S/N
POSITION
YEAR
LGA
AGENCY
NOS
1
 ELECTRICITY
2001-03
UKWA WEST
NDDC
26
2.
 ELECTRICITY
2001-03
UKWA WEST
NDDC
1
3
 CLASSROOM BLKS
2001-03
UKWA WEST
NDDC
28
4
 EROSSION
2001-03
UKWA WEST
NDDC
1

OTHER PROJECTS ARE SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED BOOKLET ON REQUEST
 
The above table has no doubt provided an in depth information to Ukwa East revolutionary indigenes, who will relentlessly take advantage of it to evolve a generational course capable of enthroning full scale recovery of their rightful place in the oil sector.

THE CRITERION FOR APPOINTMENT IN THE BOARD OF NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC) AND OTHER OIL COMMISSIONS IN NIGER DELTA STATES

According to the ACT Establishing Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and other Oil Commissions such as:
1.       Abia State Oil producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC).
2.       Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA)
3.       Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), and so on.                                           

Any person seeking for senior position in the Board of any established Oil Related Commission must be an indigene of Oil Producing Area.  The Law establishing Abia State oil Producing Area Development Commission, provided clear definition of an Oil producing Area.

The Law: Under interpretation 2, paragraph 8, Stipulates that, “Oil Producing Areas” “Means Oil and Gas Producing Local Government Area with Capped or Uncapped wells and pipelines communities”.

Paragraph 9, further states that, “Oil Producing Communities”.  Means Oil and Gas Producing Villages, Towns or communities in the Oil Producing Areas with Capped or Uncapped Oil Wells and Pipelines.
Part III, Section 10 number 2, defined that appropriation of Fund thus:
1.       10% for Oil exploration – Capped or Uncapped Oil Wells
2.       10% for pipeline Communities
3.       50% for Volume Oil Production Communities.

It has been argued by those who do not wish to treat the enabling laws/Act fairly especially political opportunity that lack of production activities or status in the areas or communities where oil exploration and discovery of crude oil wells or pipeline across has been located is not eligible to participate or benefit from the proceeds of main oil operations. To them, the sharing standard of oil derivations which placed volume oil production wells at 80%, unproductive reserve wells (capped or marginal field) 10% and pipelines across 10% was uncalled for since without production wells, flow line was needless. In the case of marginal field, it was posited that owing to its current state of un-production, it lacks the capacity to generate revenue consequently, the accruable benefit should wait until such a time production will commence.

Those in this school of thought, failed to consider that pipeline route which remains internationally standard safest and bilateral means of boosting and transporting crude oil and Gas infrastructure as well as revenue generation has left the host communities with little or no land for farm settlement while a token which falls below the value of what they would realize from farm settlement is offered as compensation. The acreage for location of crude oil wells in name of “right of way” becomes another means the host communities are stripped of their arable farmland thus while un-production last and the supposed benefit of production is eluded, will this justify the argument that communities with un-production status should not receive 10% allocation considering that their valuable vast land in acreage has been taken away on leasehold with mere pittance offered them as rentals?

If the international oil companies continues to hold undeveloped oil field (margin field) for unspecified number of years without inexplicable reasons, is it wrong for the affected communities to agitate or protest knowing that the socio-economic and political development of respective areas are in jeopardy especially in this clime where economic recognition or development of any area is based on the contributory role or values occasioned by tangible production quota?

This issue presented itself in one of the conferences organized by Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja on February 8 and 9, 2012, which the coordinator of Ndoki Youth Federation (NDYF) and Ohuru Youth Grand Alliance (OYGA) was participated. In an attempt to balance the argument, references were made to “Petroleum Amendment Act 1996” a clear interpretation of it was captured in one of the conference magazines NEITI OPEN AUDIT February 2012 Titled: “PIB JOURNEY TO DEREGULATION”  thus; there is the term “Marginal Field Development Agreement” which evolved from Petroluem Amendment Act 1996. It is an agreement between Federal Government and International oil companies (IOCS) introduced to encourage indigenous participation in Oil industry and to discourage continuous holding of Oil Field. It went further to explain that the International Oil Companies are not expected to hold undeveloped field after acquisition in a period not longer than Ten years. In the event of this, the President of the country shall have the right to farm-out the field and farm-in to potential indigenous investor provided it is in the best interest of the respective parties or stakeholders. Further details were made on the process of all-round biding for oil-block as well as the agency with the prerogative to administer bid which is Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

By this, it is inferred that Federal Government duly recognized the existence of Marginal field as reserved Oil field waiting for production therefore, the Communities/Areas with reserve status should be given due place in oil industry activities pending the commencement of active operation. Ideally, this is where Ukwa East Local Government Area falls in. The area is dominated with Marginal field (Capped Wells) without any form of production activity and this has contributed to large extent shutout the area from the mainstream of Oil related activities.

Research has shown that Ukwa East ranks second in oil status of Abia State after Ukwa West; due to lack of synergic approach, it has remained wanting in its position. However, since the constitution empowers local Government Council to participate in the development of Mineral deposit after exploration it is no longer out of place to legally engage the council to institute a framework to realize specific position in oil industry context. Exploration activities are the exclusive reserve of Federal Government having the right to grant concession to international oil companies to explore, discover and produce. When it is explored and discovered but left for a long time without extraction, the local Government Council can set machinery in motion for development of the field.

Please refer to 1999 constitution as amended.
Petroleum Amendment Act 1996
NEITI Archives              
It is interesting to note the followings:
1.       That the above explanations have dismantled the argument that Ukwa East is not an Oil Producing Area.
2.       It has provided her with the opportunity of regaining her rightful place in the comity of things.
3.       It has justified her position for oil nomenclature
4.       It has broadened her exposure to understand that her claim of marginalization is true and therefore, should be addressed.      

WHY THERE MUST BE CHANGED WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY
The dual comprehensive research embarked upon by Ndoki Youth Federation (NYDF) and Ohuru Youth Grand Alliance (OYGA) revealed that communities with highest number of positions and projects are privileged because of closeness to power that be, and with their positions, they can locate and to execute numerous projects in their places well as enriching themselves, in the process.

Take Umunteke-Asa as a case study, the community is credited with one capped Oil well which has been in long dispute with Akwete-Ndoki Community, yet, it has continued to produce Commissioners, Coordinators, Directors, and so on for over a decade of NDDC’s existence.

Owaza and Umuorie in their distinguish State of oil production activities; have not generated the number of appointment as Umunteke.  A careful look at the above table, indicated that approximately 50% of the positions goes to Umunteke.  Yet, almost no Oil Well was there to justify the bases for the  appointments.  The truth is that, Umunteke is hiding in the cloak of Owaza and Umuorie whose production quota has provided renowned leverage to certify Ukwa West as an Oil Producing Area.

Incidentally, on October 4, 2011, there was a meeting involving former Abia State NDDC Commissioner Dr. Jacob Ahuruegbe, and the Coordinator Ndoki Youth Federation (NDYF) and Ohuru Youth Grand Alliance (OYGA) Comrade Henry O. Nwaigwe and former NDDC’s Executive Director Project (EDP) Arc. Esoetok Ikpong Etteh.  In cause of discussion, the Commissioner was quoted as saying that his community Umuikuko-Asa is credited with one Cap Oil well yet he was appointed a Commissioner.

Ndoki man should recognize that the established Institutions to excel is not tied to any area nor decided by any individual, rather, by information provided for any set goal.  It is therefore, importance to divorced fears, Intimidations, uncertainty, and so on.  Perhaps, inadequate or unsure materials to engage in Legal battle to upturn the injunction lingering in Abuja High Court by which opposing forces have continued to sideline the Ndoki Man from his right.

Prior to now, Ndoki Man was looking for convincing materials to spur or confront challenges, it is fortifiable to note that, available grounds have been created by SPDC’s Land Verification Letters, oil exploration Map,  Acts/Laws for the establishment of Oil related Commissions, Intellectual and better understanding of modern techniques in oil industrialization, and so on.

The only thing required of conscious and sensible indigenes of Ndoki Land will be to mobilize, pull their resources together for recovery of their common Agenda.  Remember, when there is visionary focus and Dynamic Implementation, there will be sure Landmark Achievement.

NDOKI AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT OF THE INTERVENTIONIST AGENCIES.

It is sad to note that, since the establishment of various interventionist agencies particularly Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ndoki youth was yet to attract a well defined and appreciable empowerment program.  This has become a serious source of concern that Ndoki Youth Federation (NDYF), was driven by the unfair development on August 25, 2010, to conduct careful appraisal on the effect of interventionist agency’s empowerment programs and its contributions to curbing the menace of youth activities in Ukwa East.

It is regrettable that, no single youth of Ndoki in Abia State was identified as beneficiary of laudable youth empowerment programs of Government through interventionist agencies and this has continued to create serious lull in youth development of Ndoki Land.

A painstaking study of the booklet containing NDDC’s projects and skill acquisitions from June 2001 to December 2005 exposed the rate of marginalization of Ukwa East (copy attached at instance).

Our persistent efforts with the platform of Ndoki Youth Federation (NDYF) and Ohuru Youth Grand Alliance (OYGA) to address this issues, has continuously met with inaction.

The letters of Ndoki Youth Federation (NDYF) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), dated May 31, 2011 explaining the rate of deprivations in terms of youth empowerment programs even with the request to empower one hundred youth in Ndoki presenting areas of interest and estimates was treated with disdain even though, we were invited to defend our proposal.

The summary of it was to refer to fill empowerment form on line (internet) which was also done by few Ndoki youths thereafter; nothing was heard of it till date.  Once again, Ndoki people are re-emphasizing that the solution to this avoidable protracted marginalization is to spell out the nomenclature of Ndoki Oil and Gas position capable of re-defining the role and share of Oil benefit between Asa and Ndoki people.

One way to achieve this, which we have critically considered as the best option, is to engage the past and present heroes of Ndoki whose political, economical, social, intellectual, education and technical status can create rallying point to locate people with genuine information, documents, resources and facilitations.  It is also ideal to note, that this measure will attract the oil operating company, interventionist agencies, political office holders and oil-producing areas to admitted and espouse reality of the agitation for rectification and approval.

It is important to note that, there is no better time to embark on this than now.  According to Late Milford Okilo in one of his quotes “Every chance is an opportunity worth taken as every space is worth filling”. We need to fill the vacant position of oil and gas of the Ndoki in Abia State with the opportunity provided by this thought provoking and action driven paper.

CONCLUSION
The emphasis has continued to lay on how to achieve a common goal for the present and future oil and gas position of Ndoki land.  We make bold to say that another way solutions will be proffered are:

1.           POWER DISTRIBUTION: In order to achieve decentralization of government presence, making equity, fairness, equality and periodic assessment of infrastructure improvement should be seen as an enviable objective of any system of government.

2.           The political leaders should do well to avoid unpopular policies tending to create unnecessary tensions, disagreement, cold war, bickering, and so on.  Amongst the citizens especially the oil producing areas which occupies major position in the Nigerian Economic growth.

It is worthy to note that, if our political leaders in their magnanimity shall make all the agencies, commissions, parastatas and so on, to have equal representation devoid of political divides or bias, there will be little or no complaints of marginalization.  Ndoki indigenes over the years have continued to cry out for this gross marginalization.  We beg to be heard for once.

Once again, in a passionate appeal, it is important that the drivers of oil and gas industries, related commission, with particular respect to equity, localization of oil and gas activities, should provide a common ground to discuss a way forward. This way, our position for separate Oil and Gas nomenclature will be realized.  Where there is equity, justice will prevail, where there is inequality tension will rise. 

THE NATURAL ATTRIBUTES
1
Name
Ndoki Clan/Ethnic nationality
2
Location
Abia South between Akwa Ibom and Rivers State.
3
Local government area
Ukwa East
4
State
Abia
5
Occupation
Agriculture, Weaving, Dredging, Sea Transport, Palmwine Tapping-Distillation process, fishing, Timber, Sawmill, Poultry/Animal Farming, Forestry etc.
6
Native language/ cultural festival 
Ndoki-Ibo Language, Masquerade Native Dance (Nwautam), Wrestling, Swimming etc.
7
Natural heritage
Crude oil, Gas, Beach, Dredging Site, rich Fertile Land, Rivers/Sea, weaving, and so on.
8
Industrial heritage
Obeaku/Umuogo Abia Palm Industry, Akwete Rubber Research Institute, Akwete weaving industry, Akwete Tank farm.
9
Estimated population
Three hundred thousand (300,000).
10
Estimated land Mass
Fifteen thousand five hundred square kilometer (15,500km2).
11
Proposed industrial establishment
Azumini and Akwete Beach, Obeaku Sea Port, Crude oil mining operation.
12
Political office
Former Senate President, House of Reps, Deputy Speaker House of Assembly, former NEITI Chairman, former PPPRA Executive Secretary, Chairman ASOPADEC, SURE P.
13
Road Network
Worst Deplorable Road network.
14
Education
High rate of infrastructural Decay
15
Food production
Palm oil, yam, Garry, Fruits, Cereal Crops, Plantain, Fish, Coconut etc.
16
Infrastructure deficit
Housing, skill acquisition center, industrial park, health care delivery centre, tertiary institution, sports complex, technology/conference centre, and so on.
17
Public neglected establishment
Akwete Rubber research industry, Abia palm industry Umuogo/Ohambele, Ohanso science school, Obohia-Azumini –Ukanafun road, Obohia-Ohuru-Ugwunagbo-Aba road, Ndoki Grammar school – Obohia, Ikwueke Girls secondary school – Ohmabele, Ohuru Comprehensive secondary school, Akwete secondary Technical School, undevelopment of oil field.

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