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Anambra Petroleum Min intervenes in SEEPCO-Ogwuaniocha lingering MoU row

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The leader of the attorneys of the community, Chimezie Ani (fifth left), Sir Ifeanya (sixth left), Augustine Atuona (seventh right) (standing) and others during the peace meeting

By Michael Nnebife

ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Anthony Ifeanya, has appealed to the management of Sterling Oil and Energy Exploration Production Company (SEEPCO) to be humane to its Ogwu-Aniocha host community, in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state.

  The commissioner passionately made the appeal during a peace meeting he had with the company and the community, in his office in Awka.

  While urging the company to prioritise peace at the community as its social responsibility, he frowned at the lingering unhealthy industrial relations between the two parties since 2019.

  His words, “we’ve to sign the global memorandum of understanding immediately because it has lingered … I’ve read the files. I may be new in the office, but I know the beginning of the case. SEEPCO’s file since its inception in the community is here.

  “I’ve gone through it; I know the truths and the lies.

  “Since the inception of this case – your meeting with the senate in Abuja in July 2019 – all the correspondence, agreement, you’ve had, delays, postponements – all of them are here in the file, and I’ve read them.

   “But I’m here to make a difference, and peace… my governor, Professor Charles Soludo is a man of peace. When he received the petition from the Ogwu-Aniocha community, he directed me to look at it and find a solution to their complaints.

  “Undoubtedly, the solution is peace”, he said.

  Sir Ifeanya  sympathised with the community over the pathetic situation currently facing them, especially the kidnapping of their traditional ruler, and urged SEEPCO to recognise the community liaison officer nominated by the community as in the case of Ogwuikpele community.

  In their separate responses, Presidents-General of the community, Chidi Eze, and Apolonia Ezenwa (women wing); Chairman, MoU Committee, Tony Ebonwu, among others, emphatically lamented their woes from the hands of SEEPCO, but expressed hope of getting desired judgment from the commissioner, urging him to make good use of his office for their rescue.

  While underscoring the importance of peace for business, and SEEPCO’s readiness to endorse the MoU, the Community Relations Manager of the company, Augustine Brown Atuona, expressed dismay over the lingering crisis in the community and appealed to the Ogwo-Aniocha community to allow peace to reign.

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