By Davies Iheamnachor, Ahoada
Indigenes of Ukpeliede and Emezhi II in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State have cried out over the alleged neglect of their communities by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company operating in their domain.
The angry natives last Friday embarked on peaceful protest barricading the road leading to the Oshie Oil Field and handed down a 72 hours ultimatum to NAOC to immediately restore electricity in their area and initiate a meeting with the communities to resolve pending issues.
Bone of contention
The President of Ukpeliede Youth Forum, Freeman Obigiri, told NDV that the company has refused to implement in full its 2008 Memorandum of Understanding entered into with their community.
Obigiri lamented that the MoU the oil major entered into with their community has been abandoned for eight year.
He said: “We are here today to express our annoyance over the treatment we are receiving from Agip. Agip is marginalising us because they see that we do not have anybody.
“On the issue of MoU, this is over eight years and that is almost two MoU periods, because each MoU last for four years, yet the one for 2008 has not been fully implemented.”
He added: “Though they have completed some other things in that MoU, the six class room block has not even started. This is not good at all. What this mean is that they will not be ready to enter into another MoU.
“We are calling on them to start up that project because we are ready to undertake another MoU with them. This level of neglect is bad and we are not ready to accept it again.”
Obigiri regretted that three months ago the company cut off their communities from its power plant without any tangible reason.
“We are here on a peaceful demonstration because of the treatment meted out to us but they have refused to come and address us. We are giving them 72 hours to address us or we will shut down all their facilities till our demands are met,” he said.
Also speaking, the Youth Leader of Emezhi II, David Abali, stated that since 1972 when NAOC commenced operations in the area it has not undertaken any MoU with their community and as such they have not benefitted from the company.
He added that they were abandoned during the 2020 flood that ravaged the area and called on the federal and state governments and well meaning individuals to prevail on the firm to do the needful.
“We came for this protest because Agip is neglecting us. Since the company started operating in our community we have not had MoU. We are not happy with them. We want them to come and enter MoU with us. If they don’t do this we will stop them from operating in our community,” he warned.
Meanwhile, at press time, the management of Agip kept sealed lips to the issues raised by the protesting communities.
The post Rivers communities in showdown with NAOC over alleged neglect appeared first on Vanguard News.
Source: Vanguard Newspaper