…says he remains Paramount ruler
..You’re not competent to assess us-Belemaoil
By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt
The Paramount Ruler of Opu-Kula in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, HRH Hope Opusingi has stated it loud and clear that Belèmaoil, an indigenous oil company that has recently been licensed to operate OML 55 has no capacity to either operate the oil bloc or build the proposed oil terminal in Kula and Niger Delta at large.
Opusingi stated this in an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the inauguration of the 9th Assembly in Port Harcourt.
The Royal Father, who said he remains the King of Opusingi clan comprising nine communities, accused the Managing Director of Belemaoil Producing Limited, Mr Tein Jackrich of sponsoring campaign of calumny against him for political reasons.
He said he regretted that Belemaoil they all fought to bring had turned around to sow seed of discord in Kula, thereby causing all manner of crises in the area.
The traditional ruler commended Governor Nyesom Wike for bringing development to Kula, which he said was unprecedented.
According to him, Governor Wike has embarked upon N6bn sand filling project in Kula, given a house of assembly and two councillorship slots to Kula, which he said has never happened in the history of Kula.
“Why won’t I follow governor Wike, the man who has brought development to Kula. Wike has awarded N6bn sand filling contract in Kula that will run in three phases and this will enable us get land for development. He has given us one slot at the Rivers State House of Assembly and two councillors .This has never happened in the history of Kula. We now decide what we want, so I commend the governor for this show of love,” Opusingi said.
He challenged Belemaoil to show what development he has attracted to Kula either from the Federal Government (FG) or Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), whom he said the company is supporting.
On insecurity in Kula, the Royal Father said insecurity challenge is a global phenomenon and not peculiar to Kula alone.
“Insecurity is everywhere, even in Lagos the traditional capital of Nigeria. Everything is in phases, if the militancy era in the Niger Delta could pass away, then the current insecurity in the waterways of the Niger Delta will still pass away,” Opusingi explained.
On the issue of his dethronement as Paramount Ruler of Opukula, Hope said, “there is nothing like dethronement, I am still the Paramount Traditional Ruler of Opukula. It is all fall out of the 2019 general elections. Belemaoil Director is funding the campaign of calumny and malignity against me because I refused to sell the nine communities under my control to him. There is no way I can do that, our predecessors did not do that, so why should I? Belemaoil said he has employed 2,000 Kula indigenes and given 374,000 scholarships and I have challenged him to publish their names, so that we can conduct forensic check on the list, but up till now no way. If you put all the inhabitants of Kula together how many are they? So it is all fallacy to deceive the public,” he said.
He has also said that he wants to build oil terminal in Kula and where is the money? “Belemaoil is a dying company and has no money to embark on such gigantic project, in fact licensing Belemaoil to operate an oil bloc is the worst thing that has happened to the Niger Delta Region. It would have been better if an outsider or foreign company is brought in by the Federal Government to carry out such activity,” Opusingi emphasized.
When contacted for reactions on the allegations, the External Relations Manager of Belemaoil, Mr Samuel Abel-Jumbo said Hope Opusingi is not and has never been the Paramount Ruler of Opukula.
According to him, Opusingi was one of their vendors who made so much money from Belemaoil and wondered why he should turnaround to blackmail the company simply because his contract has been terminated.
“It is not his business or anybody to determine our capacity and if the Federal Government in her wisdom could certify Belemaoil to build an oil terminal, who is Hope to challenge it,” Abel-Jumbo said.
He reiterated the fact that Belemaoil has the capacity to build the proposed terminal in Kula.
0ñ the 2,000 employment, the Company’s Spokesman said 2,000 was an under estimation. According to him ,over 2,000 persons are engaged in the Seismic Department of the company alone, not to talk of Surveillance and other areas.
The same, he said goes for the scholarship.
He dismissed insinuations that Belemaoil is causing crisis in Kula. He corrected the impression that his company through its people oriented model is creating wealth and building capacity in the Niger Delta. This, he said has endeared her to the Federal and State Governments in the country.