Youths in Ubima Community, in Ikwerre Local Govermment Area of Rivers State and home town of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, have threatened to shut down economic activities in the community if royalties from a certain oil company operating in the areas is not made available as soon as possible. 

The youths, under the aegis of Patriotic Youths of Ubima (PYU) said this development is a result of the refusal of an Oil Company, All Grace Energy Limited to pay the sum of N200 million royalties to Ubima Community, as contained in an agreement. 

According to a report published by Ike Wigodo, the Nigerian Union of Journalist Secretary, Port-Harcourt Chapter, (PYO) has threatened fire and brimstone over the non-implementation of the subsisting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Community for Five years.

The aggrieved youths claim the company has failed to honour the various items in an agreement they willingly accented to, in the spirit of fairness to all concerned. They say the accord includes but not limited to educational scholarships and payment of other monetary entitlements due the community since its commencement of operations.

President of the Patriotic Youth group, Wisdom Chimankpa Igwe as well as other leaders of the community insist that no amount of persistent harassment and intimidation will make them relent in agitating for their entitlements. They also said that the PYU, through its lawyer, had written to the Community Development Committee (CDC). 

The youths also said the company has failed to meet up to its agreed local content input, as majority of them were roaming the streets in the community without jobs while the company has continued to employ people from outside the Community and State.

They accused the Company and Community leadership of using security agencies to intimidate and harass youths agitating for their rights. The youths claimed that the CDC had prevented them from coming together because of their alleged secret dealings with companies operating in the community.

They alleged that the CDC confirmed that out of N200million the company was due to pay the community, it had paid N50million, which they claimed, has not been accounted for. They regretted that the company, with the huge revenue generated from the community, has succeeded in impoverishing Ubima. They warned that the youths would, henceforth, take their destiny in their hands.

When contacted, the CDC Chairman, Barrister Mono Okono, advised the youths not to take laws into their hands, and confirmed that the CDC had received the sum of N50 out of N200 million. He advised the youths to apply dialogue, warning that get-rich quick syndrome was not the best way to achieve peace and development. He said the leadership of the community was doing everything possible to resolve the lingering issues, adding that he was not part of those who signed the MoU with the company.

"The MoU had been signed before I took over the leadership of the Community. The CDC cannot interface with the company, rather a separate body known as MIC is the only body empowered by the MoU to interface with the company”, he said.

He also explained that the company’s financial and technical partners were in court over an internal matter, which according to him, means that one party cannot implement what is in the MoU.

However, when contacted, the Company’s Community Liaison Officer (CLO), Mr. Dandison Onuah, dismissed the threats by PYU. He said youths cannot dictate to him or his family what happens in his land. He said he was one of the rightful owners of the land where the oil firm is located.

“I am the rightful owner of the land, somebody who does not own anything cannot dictate to me. Ubima community has an organised leadership. We have Ogbakor Ubima headed by a legal practitioner. We have Community Development Committee (CDC) also headed by a legal practitioner. Those touts cannot dictate to us”, he noted.

He alao said the company has no obligation to listen to the PYU, describing them as non-existent trouble-makers bent on destabilising the relative peace in the community.

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