Authorities of Ndokwa East Local Government Area (NELGA) in Delta State said on Thursday that it rejected cooked food from Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) supposedly meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in one of the facilities.
SEEPCO is a venture from the Sandesara Group, diversified in Petroleum Exploration and Production.
According to a statement signed by the Chairman, Ndokwa East LGA, Mr. Juan Amechee Governor, the camp has over 1,000 persons but the oil and gas firm only came with a paltry 200 packs.
Governor who frowned at cooked meals as donation for the displaced persons at the various camps, lamented that SEEPCO has not shown support for over a decade to assist the communities during such distress noting that the company cares less about the host communities in the area of Humanitarian needs.
The Chairman alleged that SEEPCO has not paid its tenement rate for over five years adding that the sudden concerns for the internally displaced people was suspicious.
According to him, support from organisations and individuals were made in cash or raw materials as palliative and not cooked meals.
He also disclosed that the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Delta State had issued the Council query; but maintained that the LGA stood its grounds not to receive any cooked meals at the camp from outsiders except raw materials.
The NELGA also commended the smallest oil and gas firm within the host communities, Chorus Energy Ltd, for that consistent support in cushioning the effect of displaced people pointing out that it’s the only Oil and Gas firm that have shown concerns for flooding activities over the years.
Governor stressed that :”SEEPCO came to Ashaka camp two days ago in the evening at about 6:00 PM with two hundred (200) packs of cooked meals for the IDPs but we declined and told them to bring raw materials instead of cooked meals because we want to be sure of what the IDPs are fed on.
“Besides, what they brought was not consistent with the camp menu and it is appalling that SEEPCO who have not shown any flood concern over the past ten years nor cared about NELGA in any way and a company that has not paid tenement rate for over five years to suddenly show up at the camp with cooked meals for two hundred (200) IDPs in a camp hosting over a thousand (1,000) IDPs.
“The gesture was seen as suspicious because what most companies would usually do is to send palliatives instead of cooked meals.
“Our action of declining the cooked meals which we have no idea of the content, where it was cooked and who cooked it became an issue when the company reported NELGA Council to the state and without hearing from us, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas issued the Council a query; but we stood our grounds not to receive any cooked meal at the camp from outsiders except raw materials.
“DESOPADEC officials at the camp shared the same view with the Council noting that it is not customary for such donations to be made to IDP camps,”he added
While sharing the glad tiding about recent developments, he reiterated that “The good news is that apart from the earlier reported loss of lives, no incident had been reported since then.
“A lot has been going on and we needed to get some more accurate facts before issuing this press release, especially with the great news that the floods has started receding in our LGA and there was therefore more need to be specific in publishing what is going on in NELGA.
“It is now on record and we can authoritatively state that the floods are receding across the ten INEC wards made up of the seventy three major communities in NELGA. A situation which comes with mixed feelings because the obvious is now staring at us in the face; that is the fact that we need to fumigate all our communities, assist our people to get back to their various communities in terms of logistics, resettling them back to their homes, providing them with starter packs that will guarantee their upkeep for at least up to three weeks and the process of empowering them to face a new life in terms of their livelihood (Trading, Farming, entrepreneurship etc.).
Meanwhile, the camp at Technical College, Kwale hosting over three thousand (3,000) IDPs from Ndokwa East he said was achieving tremendous cooperation, saying all hands have been on deck to ensure that those in the IDP camp are well taken care of to reduce their pains and cushion their losses.
“The state, Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East LGA Councils and some of the Ndokwa National leaders have been of immense assistance in complementing the state with palliatives in no small measures to ensure that the IDPs are safe, hale and hearty in the camp.
Governor also commended the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, His wife, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oboroweri and other Government officials who also showed their love in making sure that the camp stores are filled up with foodstuff and necessary camp items for the comfort and care of the IDPs.
The Chairman pointed out that other privately managed camp at General Hospital Road in Kwale where over a thousand five hundred (1,500) IDPs were also fine adding that NELGA IDPs there were doing great as at the time the NELGA 2022 Flood committee visited the camp.
Continuing, he stressed that” As for the IDP camp at Ashaka powered by DESOPADEC in collaboration with the NELGA Council, everything is going on well as well and the one thousand three hundred and eighty four (1,384) IDPs are doing great with DESOPADEC funding the camp in conjunction with the NELGA Council.
“Although the IDPs are fed daily, each of the IDPs are on two hundred Naira stipends daily (Adults, Children and infants totaling 1,384 IDPs) for the period they are in camp, courtesy the NELGA Council (Executive arm, Legislative arm and NULGE).
” The stipend is to enable them meet individual needs outside the regular meals. At Ashaka Camp, we have few donors that have showed love to the IDPs in the camp. One of such donors is Mr. Ugbome Eloke Emmanuel who donated substantial quantity of pure water to the camp,
“From the council end, the sum of two million was disbursed to the ten INEC wards (200k/Ward) to assist those who could not come out from the flooded communities to enable them meet some of their elementary needs until the flood fully recedes.
“It is also worth to note that the NELGA Council received some donations during the flood period. The earlier announced 500K from an Ndokwa Nation daughter in USA, and some items (25 pieces of foams, 30 bags of 25kg rice and 40 cartons of Nodules) from Chorus Energy Ltd. ( one of the oil companies operating in NELGA). So far, this is the only Oil firm that have shown concern (per flood, during flood and post flood) over the years,”the Chairman affirmed.