The Niger Delta Grassroots Coalition (NDGC) has refuted allegations of tribal bias against Mrs. Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, the current Executive Vice President Upstream of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), made by Niger Delta for Truth and Justice (NDTJ). NDGC asserts that contracts awarded by NNPCL are not influenced by ethnicity but are granted through a meticulous due process.
In response to the accusations against Mrs. Eyesan, NDGC clarified that the surveillance contract awarded to Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) underwent a rigorous evaluation process under the leadership of Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye, the immediate past Executive Vice President Upstream NNPCL, who is of Ijaw descent. The coalition emphasized that other companies, including Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, were also awarded contracts following the same stringent criteria.
The statement from NDGC, signed by its Coordinator, Prince Edema Collins Oritsetimeyin, and Publicity Secretary/Spokesman, Franklin Eyikimi, addressed the allegations by NDTJ. NDGC expressed disappointment in the accusations against Mrs. Eyesan and the Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, describing the claims as baseless and devoid of truth.
The coalition questioned the motive behind the accusations, pointing out the lack of objection when contracts were awarded under the leadership of an Ijaw executive. NDGC criticized NDTJ for resorting to blackmail and ethnic bias rather than engaging in a fair and transparent process if they desired the surveillance contract.
NDGC defended Mrs. Eyesan’s career, highlighting her hard work, brilliance, and over 30 years of exemplary professional conduct. The coalition asserted that she had earned her position through merit and would not be swayed by individuals unfamiliar with the operational processes of NNPCL.
The statement posed questions about the relevance of due process in securing pipeline surveillance contracts to the Warri Crisis and challenged the notion that contracts were awarded through blackmail. NDGC clarified that the Olu of Warri is not a member of PINL’s Board of Directors or one of their Trustees.
Lastly, NDGC praised the Olu of Warri for promoting peace and coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups in the Niger Delta. The coalition criticized the use of blackmail and ethnic bias as tools to secure contracts, questioning the educational qualifications and upbringing of those behind the allegations.