By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Youths in Effiat community in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have called on the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to intervene in the looming crisis pervading the area to avoid the breakdown of law and order.
This followed an alleged refusal of Okon Bassey Okon-led Oil and Gas Relations Committee to relinquish office after it was dissolved last year.
They said Okon-led committee was dissolved in November 13th 2017 after a vote of no confidence was passed on it and another committee headed by Mr. Saviour Bassey Itabana reconstituted to replace it.
Since then Okon has continued to parade himself as the chairman of the committee and allegedly defrauding oil companies despite the vote of no confidence on him, the youths complained.
Fearing that the continue stay in office by the defunct Mr. Okon administration may lead to crisis in the committee, they appealed to the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to urgently intervene in the tussle before the situation gets out of hand.
In a letter addressed to the State’s Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Oman Esin by the Effiat Ikpoto Oil and Gas Relations Committee dated April 5, 2018 accused Mr. Okon of mismanaging N3 million donated by Exprotech Nigeria limited, an oil serving company operating in the area.
According to the letter which was signed by Mr. Saviour Bassey Itabana, and 16 member committee the youths, the money was donated to the community for the purchase of a vehicle for Effiat Clan Head, His Royal Highness, Obuong Asukwo Okon Ekpo IV.
They further claimed that same disbanded Okon’ exco has allegedly collected N8.8million monthly from Associated Oil and Gas Services limited in the name of security services.
When contacted the chairman of the newly reconstituted Effiat Ikpoto Oil and Gas Committee, Mr. Saviour Bassey Itabana, said community has been raped by previous leaders.
He lamented “it is unfortunate that Effiat Clan that plays host to multinational companies like Oriental Energy Resources limited, Addax Petroleum Development Company limited, Moni-Pulo Nigeria limited, Total Exploration and Producing Nigeria limited, Mobil Producing Unlimited, Associated Oil and Gas Services Limited and Universal Energy Limited should stay without even a primary school”.
Speaking separately, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Samuel Bassey and Asuquo and Uduak Edet Udo, both community leaders said the discovery of crude oil in their communities has brought pains and sorrow instead of blessings to the people.
According to them, “In Effiat Clan, there is no functional primary school in the area. No health facility, no good drinking water and other form of development in the area because of the fraudulent activities of the previous committee leaders.
But in swift reaction, Okon Bassey Okon denied all the allegations saying, “Nobody has the power except the Clan Head, His Royal Highness, Obuong Asukwo Okon Ekpo IV who has the power to dissolve or pass a vote of no confidence on the Committee”.
He however accused the acclaimed leadership of Mr. Saviour Bassey Itabana as illegal Committee.