26 November 2014, Sapele—A member of Ogidigben Export Processing Zone, EPZ Interface Committee, Mr. Godwin Ojogor, has spoken on the actual location of the proposed EPZ project which has generated controversy between the Ijaw and the Itsekiri, calling on the Federal Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to take the clarification seriously before naming the project.
Ojogor, who spoke to Vanguard in Sapele, Delta State, yesterday, noted that since the disruption of the ground breaking ceremony by the Ijaw of Gbaramatu was as a result of the controversy surrounding the location of the project, the Federal Government should be proactive over the location.
He said: “What the Itsekiri people are saying is that we will not accept the proposed name of the project after ascertaining the rightful location of the 2,680 hectares for the GRIP. They have clearly seen that out of the 300 hectares of the deep sea port, Madangho, an Itsekiri area has 174hts, while Kpokpo, an Ijaw enclave has 126hts. As such, the Itsekiri have no reason to compromise or concede the deep sea port to the Ijaw.
“How to determine whose land the projects are located has been cleared in the regional map/survey plan of the project. The Ijaw are basing their claim on Kpokpo community which is a lesser portion of the land in dispute.
“Therefore, the Itsekiri have said they will not accept that the Ijaw, with 126 hectares should supersede the Itsekiri with 174 hectares. They have allowed the Ijaw to agitate for the lesser side to which they claim ownership and not all the land. The project should be named after an Itsekiri community which has the larger part of the land in dispute.”