26 September 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI — EKPAN community in Delta State, host to Chevron Nigeria Limited, has given the oil company, a two-week notice to vacate the community, following alleged maltreatment of its leaders and neglect of the people.
The Usiavwe (Head) of Ekpan, Chief Newton Agbofodoh, Chief J. Ikogho and Secretary of the community, Gift Edejewhro, confirmed the quit notice, which was conveyed to Chevron in a letter to the Area Manager, Chevron, Ekpan.
The community, in the letter by their counsel, Mr. E. Ekpuda, expressed displeasure that the company was paying attention to a group of five impostors, instead of the elected executive of Ekpan Development Committee, EDC, recognised by the traditional leaders of Ekpan.
It said: “The five persons wrote your company, alleging they had a pending suit before a Delta State High Court, Effurun, against the community, but the question is, in what capacity are they acting when it is obvious that Ekpan community is made up of nine quarters. Can a group of persons from one quarter speak or institute an action against the entire community?”
Ekpuda said the community was troubled that Chevron disregarded the newly elected executive of EDC, which the community leadership notified it under the pretext that there was a pending suit on the leadership of the body.
He said, “The instruction of our clients to your company is that the company should disregard any letter henceforth to your company against the good relationship that has existed between your company and the Ekpan community.”
He said the community view Chevron’s disrespect of its leaders, who had the right to set up committees to liaise with all corporate bodies in the area, as “an attempt to strip our clients of their traditional titles and failing to have in mind the Federal Government policy on host communities.”
“Your company has intentionally, under the guise that there is a pending suit in court, deprived the entire Ekpan community of their rights, employment, privileges and other entitlements.
“The consequence that will emanate from the act/conduct of your company will not be pleasant to your company because the Ekpan community is ready to carry its destiny in its hands,” he said.