The people of Urhuorodje community in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State have appealed to the Delta State Government to prevail on Seplat Energy Limited to recognise the decision it took in the past recognising the Urhuorodje community as an independent autonomous community.
Addressing newsmen over an alleged marginalisation of the Urhuorodje community by Seplat, some elders and other stakeholders in the community sympathised with the oil firm over the recent collapse of its ‘Majestic rig’ but blamed the sad incident on the refusal of the company to heed to the advice of the community on the use of the area of the disaster for drilling without necessary cleansing as their custom and tradition demand.
Seplat’s ‘Majestic rig’ mishap which occurred a week ago claimed one life with three others reportedly missing.
Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State in his heartfelt condolences to Seplat Energy Limited described the incident as tragic and commiserated with the company and family members of the deceased.
For the people of Urhuorodje community while they join in sympathising with the company and commiserating with the victims of the incident, to accept the fact that the area they are drilling from in the community is a sacred ground where persons particularly women under menstruation do not enter except the indigenes and the chief priest.
A legal practitioner for Urhuorodje community, Theophilus Efaye, John Jemighaye, John Akporie and others said the community elders and the chief priest have been talking to Seplat to come and do what is required of them before entering the place to drill their oil wells but they refused to heed to the advice.
Besides Seplat Energy Limited recognising Urhuorodje community as an independent autonomous community, the people of the community appealed to the Delta State Government to prevail on the company to recognise the community as a host community and provide them with all amenities which include schools, cottage hospital and good roads.
They urged the oil firm to use the opportunity of the recent rig collapse to appease the god of Urhuorodje community.
The elders and leaders Urhuorodje community said the community recognises the preeminence Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Orhue The First but stressed that the community.