Delta News

EGCDF tours Gbaramatu communities

…Reiterate commitment to developing the kingdom

…Urged the people to join hands in protecting oil facilities

…We need infrastructural development–Communities

In its bid to get acquainted with the people at the grassroots, the Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) on Saturday 7th October, 2019 embarked on a familiarization tour of some communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

EGCDF is a tripartite body between the Ijaw communities in Warri South West and Warri North Local Government Areas of Delta state, NNPC/ Chevron Joint venture and the Government of Delta State.

Led by the Executive Chairman, Comrade Jude  Ebitimi Ukori, equally used the opportunity provided by this tour to hold town hall meetings with their host communities.

Speaking at the town hall meeting, the Chairman of the Foundation, Comrade Ukori told the gathering that this is a dream come true.

Comrade Ebitimi stressed that the Foundation collectively owes the people a responsibility to serve and render the best of services guided by the core values of transparency, accountability, reliability, fairness, and equity.

The Chairman of Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, Comr. Jude Ukori, addressing indigenes of Gbaramatu Communities during the town hall meeting

In his words, “we are obliged to promote sustainable development of all our communities and attract empowerment opportunities to all deserving indigenes. This task can only be achieved through your support to ensuring a peaceful environment for Chevron Nigeria Limited, our sole sponsor to thrive in business.

The Chairman informed the people that the foundation is not oblivion of their communities’ enormous developmental needs to which it is committed to working to fulfill.

He, however, cautioned that all these can only be actualized in the presence of peace and security which is a collective responsibility.

The EGCDF Chairman and his executive members in a group photograph with indigenes of Gbaramatu communities shortly after the town hall meeting

Ebitimi, therefore, called on the people to jointly and severally protect the oil and gas facilities within and around their communities.

He further stated that, “we must all say no to illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism. When we have done the needful, we can confidently demand the best from the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Government in terms of employment, empowerment opportunities and increase in funding for developmental activities.

He reiterated the foundation’s determination to execute both infrastructural and non-infrastructural projects across the communities.

The EGCDF Chairman clarified their willingness to execute these projects in line with the Community Development Plan (CDP) adding that the execution of these projects shall be equitably distributed among communities.

“We shall also embark on economic empowerment activities, skill acquisition/capacity building, scholarships, health care delivery, vocational training for youths and deserving indigenes etc.,” Ukori added.


Responding, Captain Daniel Diridumu, an elder of Azama community thanked the group for their visit but complained that they are having a lot of challenges especially in healthcare facilities and not having access to qualified medical personnels. He suggested that the hospital in their locality should be renovated to help reduce the stress of going to Warri to seek medical attention

In the same vein, Mr. Kingsley Agbasa, the Chairman of Igoba community pleaded with the EGCDF team to help fix the electricity in their community and added also that their school project should be looked into properly for the sake of their children who are leaders of tomorrow.

Also, Benikrukru community Chairman, Mr. Godwin Olufemi, while responding to the Foundation’s presentation thanked the visitors but at the same time stated that they are using the medium to appeal to the leadership of EGCDF as a matter of urgency to address issue of Benikrukru Fish Farm and Poultry project which has been abandoned for three consecutive terms.

He further assured the visitors of their cooperation and willingness to see themselves as partners in progress, but in the same vein drew their attention to the fact that their community is facing serious environmental problems as a result of oil exploration activities.

In his words, “when the tide is high and during raining seasons, our community is always flooded depriving the people of carrying out their daily business activities”, he stated.

Continuing, Mr. Edwin Wuruyai, the Chairman of Kenyabene community thanked the Foundation and concisely listed the demands of their community as follows; proper recognition of Kenyagbene community by Chevron Nigeria Limited, the Regional Development Council (RDC).

Others according to him include but not limited to; piling and sand filling of the town; commencement of outstanding projects; increment of loan to community women; employment of community workers as Chevron permanent staffs; proper fencing and sand filling of school buildings to prevent flooding; installation of new pipes and water storage tanks; youth empowerment.

In the same token, Elder Paul Ukuli, the representative of Kokodiagbene appreciated EGCDF for their kind visit and went ahead to among other things place their demand which comes in double folds.

He appealed to the Foundation to see to the increment in the scholarship stipend as the current amount is quite low.

In addition to the above, they plead with EGCDF to assist the community women with soft loans through the microcredit scheme they are bringing back, saying that Kokodiagbene community should be given priority.

The familiarization tour was rounded off with a thanksgiving service held on Sunday, October 8, in New Jerusalem Zion Church in Oporoza community, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

The  familiarization tour to communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom was led by their Chairman, Comr Jude Ebitimi Ukori and other members of the Executive which include; Comr Sheriff Mulade (General Secretary), Akpa Sule (Assistant Secretary), Mr. Reuben Tonjoh (Public Relations Officer), Mr. David Bubor (Provost).

Others were Mr. Silver James (Communications Director), Mr. Fred Igere (Communications Secretary), Ebizu Kinkin (Chairperson), Mr. Darlington Lelekumor (Social Secretary), Triple Chief Vero Tangbuwei (Assistant Social Secretary), among others.

Support Quality Journalism in the Niger Delta Region

Join us in our mission to bring development journalism, cultural preservation, and environmental awareness to the forefront. Your contribution makes a difference in the lives of the people of the Niger Delta. Donate today and be a part of the change!