AKS Royal Father Admonishes Youths of Oil Producing Community
07 Sep 2010
A well known and respected traditional ruler in Akwa Ibom State has cautioned indigenes of oil producing communities in Nigeria against the use of confrontation and violence in their demands for compensation or recognition from companies operating in their communities. Chief Edet Ndarake, the acting paramount ruler of Ibeno Local Government Area in an interview with some journalist few days ago, said the call has become imperative as a result of the growing agitation and sometimes forceful approach to issues by the indigenes in matters that could be instantly resolved amicably.
Chief Ndarake, who is also the presiding head of Ibeno Traditional Rulers Council stressed that the era of force or confrontation by oil producing communities against oil companies operating in their area was over, stressing that it can be done in better ways like peace talks and negotiation which are guaranteed to provide mutually rewarding results when handling issues like that.
"Let me emphasize here that, confrontation is no longer in vogue in demanding for compensation or rights, the world over. It is dialogue, negotiation and mutual understanding, these are the in-thing even in international relations", he said. The royal father maintained that the world has evolved to a level where dialogue has become the order of the day, adding that "even the United States of America, which is a super power, has done away with confrontation and adopted dialogue in the resolution of matters with other countries, which was not the case in years gone by but now their present way of making peace.’’
Chief Ndarake admonished the good people of Ibeno Local Government Area to stay clear from those selfish and disgruntled persons in the community lacing in exposure, educational attainment, and experience in the management of persons and their families from inciting them to taking actions that would impact negatively on the socio-economic conditions of the community.
He stated that as a foremost traditional ruler in the area, he has over the years used his vintage position to relate with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to contribute its quota to bettering the lots of the people of lbeno Local Government Area.
"Let me tell you that, I, Chief Edet Ndarake led a protest against Mobil in the 80s. That action was necessary at the time and it paid off. But today, confrontation has given way to dialogue and the company has now been responsible in handling issues affecting the oil communities. Unlike then, we can present our problems to the management of the company and believe you me, it gives a listening ear. So, why do you block roads? Why do we go on rampage? It is unnecessary and uncalled for", he emphasized.
The royal father who stressed that he was not however holding brief for the company appealed to his people to understand that ''Mobil is in lbeno Local Government Area for business which the Federal Government takes 60 per cent, leaving 40 percent for it", adding that within this 40 per cent, the 'company has started to realize that it is operating in a community with the impact of its activities telling on the socio-economic lives of the people.
He lauded Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited for being alive to its social responsibility to lbeno community but called on it to do more, to give the people the sense of belonging and compensate them for the destruction of their fishing industry and other means of livelihood which its operations had impacted negatively. On the issue of oil spill, the royal father appealed to the management of the company to implement without further delay, the payment of cash compensation to indigenes of the area which actions in terms of identification and enumeration had since been concluded.
Chief Ndarake said the recent chieftaincy tussle in the community with respect to who becomes the paramount ruler of Ibeno had been laid to rest within the past months by the state governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio. ‘‘When our number one citizen of this great Nation, President Dr Goodluck Jonathan, visited our local government Ibeno and inaugurated the state-of-the art hospital built by Chief Akpabio’s Administration in Ibeno, everybody witnessed who the government recognized as the paramount ruler. Lately, when our illustrious son and digital governor came to Ibeno, in the event of flood erosion, Chief Edet Ndarake was recognized by the governor to speak as the paramount ruler and my people are in tune with the feeling and disposition of the government", he stressed. He appealed to his subjects to remain peaceful, law-abiding and not allow the selfish ambition of few self-seeking individuals to disrupt the peace that had prevailed in the area for a long time now while pledging to continue to use his position and contacts to change their circumstances for the better.
He concluded by thanking the executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State Chief Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio the man of the people, he lauded him for making open lately that the state government has taken the issue of oil spill compensation from local government councils, Chief Edet Ndarake mentioned almost all the things Gov.Akpabio has done in the state for the wellbeing of the people of Akwa Ibom State and urged everyone to support him in the next election for second term, that if he can accomplish this much in a short period of time if he is given another opportunity he will do much more.