The Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities in Delta State, are set for a fresh showdown over the execution of the $16 billion Ogidigben Gas City Project in the state.
Already, President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the project located in Ogidigben community, Warri South-west local government area on June 23, 2014.
Leadership learnt that while the Itsekiri are enthusiastic about the take-off of the project, the Ijaw have asked Jonathan to tarry on the scheduled groundbreaking ceremony.
The Ijaw leaders of Gbaramatu stock in the state warned their kinsman against a hasty take-off of the project before the resolution of some knotty issues bordering on the naming of the project and benefits accruing to them.
The gas city is a public-private partnership project involving the federal government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, working with private investors and the Delta state government.
The first in the country, the project is expected to host three major components, a gas processing plant, a fertiliser plant and a petrochemical plant. Apart from the three projects, there is going to be a big housing estate and a deep sea port to be constructed by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
However, the Ijaw and Itsekiri groups have dispatched protest letters to the federal government canvassing divergent positions on the project.
They were engaged in a bloody crisis which led to loss of many lives and destruction of valuable property, including oil platforms, from 1997 to 2003, over the citing of a local government headquarters at the same Ogidigben community by the federal authorities.
Specifically, the Ijaw in the petition to Jonathan signed by seven leaders of Gbaramatu kingdom, also in Warri South-west LGA, rejected the naming of the project after an Itsekiri community.
Article Source: Delta Herald