By Emma Amaize

ASABA—THE people of Egbema Kingdom, Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, warned that the exclusion of the monarchy from ongoing dialogues and negotiations on the Export Processing Zone, EPZ, project, Ugborodo, will not augur well for the smooth implementation of the venture in the state.

Egbema people, in a statement by the National Leader and National Coordinator, Chief E. E. Ebimami and Joel Bisina, respectively, said: “We, the Egbema people, are particularly disturbed that Delta State Government has not seen the need to invite or advise the Federal Government to invite Egbema Kingdom to the table on the ongoing dialogues.”

They said that the activities of EPZ would have negative consequences on Egbema communities on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, adding, “that Egbema has coastline communities that suffer from shoreline erosion and other environmental consequences is not in dispute.

“It is in the realisation of this that Chevron Nigeria Limited, as a palliative measure, set up the Gbaramatu, Egbema, Ogulagha Coastal Community Front, GEUCCF, Global Memorandum of Understanding as a follow up to the Egbema-Gbaramatu Regional Council, EGCDC, which is dealing with onshore communities in the two kingdoms.

“Whilst our sister kingdoms of Gbaramatu, Ogulagha and our Itsekiri neighbour are in the mainstream of negotiations, Egbema has completely been sidelined and left out.

“We had thought peace is golden and that it will be rewarded by discerning minds, but that seems to be the wrong assumption given the antecedents of successive administrations in dealing with issues of development to the Niger Delta region.”

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