…Demands control over pipeline surveillance contract
…Sends SOS to FG, Bayelsa State government for rescue
Communities under Igbomotoru Kingdom, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state have beckoned on the Federal Government to save them from an alleged marginalization perpetrated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
Also alleged to be part of the marginalization is the Dalon Company owned by former governorship aspirant of Bayelsa state, Chief David Lyon.
In a chat with newsmen on Monday, the communities lamented how they’ve been left to suffer by AGIP since 1972 when the pipelines were first laid in the area.
Worse still, the communities have been made to face torture and abuse from men of the Nigerian Army on the premise that youths in the area are preventing Dalon Company from carrying out it’s duties of securing of the pipelines.
The situation has forced women in the area to embark on non-stop protest since Saturday March 27, 2021, and as at press time, the protest still continues.
They demand for AGIP to fulfil the long list of obligations agreed to at the commencement of it’s operation in the area in 1974, as well as proper engagement of citizens of Igbomotoru.
With loud shouts of ‘we no go gree,’ the protesting women demanded for their rights as people playing host to AGIP.
Madam Ebi Akasa, who spoke with news men said; “my father told me these pipelines were laid in 1974 and AGIP has since failed to live up to it’s obligations. We have no light, water or scholarships for our children. In the case of a pipeline burst, we are forced to drink the same water polluted by the crude oil.
“We demand for AGIP to withdraw the surveillance contract from David Lyon and allow Igbomotoru Kingdom to take charge of it. Let the state and federal government sway in to meet up our demands before things get out of hand,” she said.
Also speaking, the Woman Leader of Igbomotoru community, Koromienkumo Nimikongha reiterated Madam Ebi’s claims, as she lamented “we are suffering. We own the land. We own the oil yet we have no benefit to show for it. Our people die unnecessary over these pipelines through the invasion by the military. We simply demand for the securing of the pipelines to be handled by Igbomotoru kingdom going forward,” she stressed.
Joshua Abure, General Secretary og Igbomotoru 11 community stated the protest is solely borne out of oppression and marginalization by AGIP in collaboration with Dalon Company.
He added the two companies have never been fair to Igbomotoru people.
“We are the targets once there is a pipeline burst even when we know nothing about it,” he lamented.
Continuing, “we recently heard a blast in Benikurukuru, a community that has nothing to do with us, yet AGIP and Dalon company invited the military to invade our communities. As you can see, I just came out from the forest where I was hiding.
“We are intimidated and oppressed at every turn. Our women are protesting against the cruelty meted out by David Lyon and AGIP. We call on government at all levels to come to our rescue without delay,’ he added.
Chief Joseph, Speaker of the Traditional Council added that AGIP and the government had agreed to change the pipes once in every 25years, a situation causes leakage overtime.
Stressing his support for the lingering protest, the Spokesman wondered how respected chiefs will go into the forest to destroy a pipeline.
The protesting women expressed their displeasures over the maltreatment by AGIP and called for the surveillance contract to be given to an Igbomotoru indigene for proper management.
Women and children lamented the hunger in the land as a direct effect of oil leakages in the area, while decrying the marginalization faced by the entire Niger Delta region in the hands of multinationals.
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