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The Anambra state chapter of the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords' Association of Nigeria (OMPALAN), yesterday visited Ogbaru local government area and were received by the Chairman, Ogbaru local government, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu.
The group led by its state Chairman, Chief Edwin Uyaemezina said that the cardinal objective of the organisation was to maintain the peace, protect impacted communities from environmental challenges in the decision-making processes of critical development agencies at all levels. The body said that they were visiting Ogbaru Council area to interact with the people of the area and said that this was their first visit to Ogbaru Council Headquarters.
Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu who cut short his other engagements to receive the OMPALAN delegation said that it was his pleasure to welcome them to the oil bearing local government of Ogbaru. He informed the delegation that more than half of the 16 communities in Ogbaru LGA has large deposit of oil and gas but said that it is only the oil wells at Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele that are currently being explored. The Council Chairman affirmed that the type of oil found in Ogbaru local government area which is being drilled by an Indian oil company,  Sternly Global Resource, is adjudged to be the most sought after brand of oil.

Hon. Awogu opined that the oil mining business going on in Ogbaru LGA needs to be fully recognized with requisite legislations as such is the only guarantee of Anambra state becoming a full fledged oil producing state. He maintained that Anambra state can not be said to be an oil producing state when in the real sense Anambra state  is in a tripod gait recognition with Enugu and Kogi states put together as one state because of the yet to be resolved contentions and the 50 meters redius policy of the oil exploration law. "But the oil in Ogbaru is not in contention, the matter in court between Umunzalabia in Ogwuaniocha and Umunkwocha in Oguta is being resolved in our favour. Anambra state will have a full status of oil producing state if the oil mining activities in Ogbaru is to be used as the basis for Anambra state's recognition." He applauded the Senator representing Anambra North, Princess Stella Oduah for making a strong case for the recognition of Ogbaru as oil producing community which will translate into full fledged recognition of Anambra state as oil producing State.
The Council boss however queried the composition of the OMPALAN executive, saying that it is only when Ogbaru people are seen to be part of its leadership that Ogbaru can feel a sense of belonging. "Ogbaru has become a stakeholder in the league of oil bearing communities and if an umbrella body like OMPALAN does not have people of Ogbaru stock within its leadership cadre then the Ogbaru man won't have a sense of belonging."  He further demanded that the current leadership of the organization be adjusted to accommodate Ogbaru people at both the National and State executives of the organization. He appealed that whichever slots that are open to the body should also be made available to Ogbaru people as such will make the people of Ogbaru see themselves as a part of the organization. The visiting leaders of OMPALAN however granted almost spontaneously, all the demands put forward by the Council Chairman.

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