The Ilaje Rural Development Advocacy Committee (IRDC) has appealed to the Ondo and Federal Governments as well as Chevron Nigeria Ltd., to collaborate in tackling the sea incursion ravaging oil rich communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Mr Roland Akintoye, IRDC Chairman, made this appeal on Saturday in Ode-Ugbo during the second edition of a town hall meeting with residents of the oil rich riverine communities of Ilaje LGA.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that community heads and representatives of the eight oil communities affected by the sea incursion are Awoye, Moluthein, Jirinwo, Mese, Opuekaba, Gbagira, Akinsolu and Odofado.
Akintoye said that the sea incursion has become a big challenge confronting the communities and if not tackled head-on could wipe out the whole communities from existence.
“The sea incursion in oil riverine communities is indeed a big challenge beyond IRDC and these oil communities, something tangible must be done for it not to wipe out the communities.
“We are appealing to the state government to collaborate with the federal government and Chevron to rescue these communities from the ravaging sea incursion,” he said.
Akintoye, however, re-assured residents of the communities under its jurisdiction of more life impactful programnes, adding that efforts are being intensified to complete some ongoing projects and also put up new ones.
Responding on behalf of other communities, Chief Adebanjo Akinruntan, the Baale of Gbagira Community, also begged the state and federal governments and Chevron to, as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of the communities.
He added that oil is being tapped from the communities and what they are enjoyed is not commensurate to the God-given resources being taken away from their land.
Akinruntan, however, thanked the IRDC for their uprightness by making life more meaningful to residents, adding that the IRDC cannot deal with the sea incursion project alone except they get assistance from governments and Chevron.
NAN recalls that the first town hall meeting held In September by IRDC intimated residents on efforts of making life better as no fewer than 100 residents also benefitted from free medical services and drugs.
NAN reports that a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between NNPC/Chevron and the state government in 2005 gave birth to IRDC.
The GMoU allowed oil communities the ownership and management of various projects solely funded by NNPC/Chevron.