•Pack out from OML42, you are no longer welcome – Group
•Stop blackmailing your hosts -IPDI
By Peters Monday, Abuja
Leading Niger Delta group, under the auspices of the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI has opened a Can of worms against the operator of Neconde company Mr Ernest Obiejesi for alleging that oil thieves were using the MD of Focalpoint news online, Mr Kagbala Ezekiel to be fighting him, a development that has caused a serious uproar in Niger Delta region.
However, the group had issued Neconde oil firms a 7-day ultimatum to name oil thieves using Mr Kagbala to be fighting him if the companies had supporting evidence of its wild allegation.
Congress learnt that the Focalpoint news online MD Kagbala recently hammered on Neconde over the alleged impoverishment of host communities in OML 42 in Delta state.
Reacting to the Kagbala’s concerns, Neconde condescend so low to issue verbal assault and character assassination, leaving the fundamental issues raised by the publisher in his reports.
Following the inciting publication made by Neconde firms, the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI has told the MD Ernest Obiejesi, operator of Neconde oil firm to name crude oil thieves using the Focalpoint newsonline MD Kagbala to be fighting him.
The group, in a statement by its national president Comrade Ozobo Austin on Saturday, said the publication from Neconde referring Niger Delta people as oil thieves is unfounded, mischievous, libellous, nefarious, lackadaisical, provocative and inciting.
Ozobo said Neconde should pack out of OML42 and Forcados terminal for making such unsubstantiated and wild allegations against their host communities and Niger Delta region.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to unfounded, mischievous, libellous, nefarious, lackadaisical, provocative and vexatious attack on Niger Delta illustrious son, Ezekiel Kagbala, a rights activist, publisher and investigative journalist by Neconde oil firm. We are issuing also a 7-day ultimatum to Neconde operating in OML42 and Forcados terminal to name the oil thieves using Mr Kagbala to fight both companies.
“Meantime, we consider the Neconde attack on Kagbala and Niger Delta as a ploy to upset and incite bad blood in the Niger Delta region and to give the cat a bad name to hang it.
“The unsubstantiated and careless utterances of Neconde publication dated 25th October 2023, citing oil thieves in OML 42 to have behind the alleged report spotting the companies failures is a call for concern. It is a trite law that he asserts, the anus of proof lies in him or her. Hence, we challenge Neconde to name the Oil Thieves sponsoring fight against them in Niger Delta.
“Consequently, we are dismayed that the MD of Neconde Ernest Obiejesi, despite knowing the whereabouts of oil thieves refused to report to security authorities over the years as pointed out in the companies’ publications. This is a conspiracy against the federal and Delta state governments. It is also classified as aiding and abetting. A man who says he knows the whereabouts of a thief, sometimes being the thief itself. We are aware of several oil theft allegations against the operators of Neconde and Nestoil companies over the years. It is a practice of a thief to sometimes frame- up others to remain in business. We are not surprised by the hasty libellous statement made by the aforementioned companies against the Niger Delta people.
“It is part of our demands that the federal government and security agencies should properly investigate the oil operation activities of the aforementioned companies. Again, it is an aberration for a shenanigan investor to blackmail and insult its host communities. This is can’t be accepted. Therefore, we demand that Neconde MD Ernest Obiejesi with his multiple companies manipulating our oil resources should pack out from OML42 and Forcados terminal without further delay.
“We read carefully the issues raised by Neconde and Nestoil joint publication but all veered from the issues raised by Kagbala in Focalpoint news online. It was unfortunate that the concocted joint report could not address fundamental issues of public concern canvassed by Kagbala but rather resorted to blackmail defamation of character and verbal assault.
“Mr Kagbala raised issues of meeting up the social responsibilities by the affected companies and that is very germane being Niger Delta fundamental question. I have personally visited the OML 42 host communities, none is living a decent lifestyle. Despite all the oil wells there, the residents live in abject poverty and darkness. I have seen that the above-mentioned companies are defending madness and cruelty, neglect and impoverishment suffered by host communities. I urged the public to disregard all deceit peddled by Neconde publication.
“We wish to state that Neconde’s campaign of deceit against OML42 communities, Niger Delta and Ezekiel Kagbala will not be overlooked, and as an investor, Ernest Obiejesi should know the implications of his actions”, the group averred.