By Jimitota Onuyume
PORT HARCOURT- Youths of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers state say theyÂ are warming up for a showdown with theÂ Nigerian Agip Oil Company over what they described asÂ failure of the oil giant to cushionÂ effect of its operations on the area.
In an open letter to the Acting President, the youths under the aegis of ONELGA Youth Federation threatened to disrupt operations of the firm in the area. The letter signed by Prince Onyebu Okoro and Mr. Rufus Ameachi Bright, president and assistant Secretary respectively of the body said the operations of the oil giant was causing heavy pollution in the area.
They also accused the firm of failing to live up its corporate social responsibility to the area. According to the youths, more of their indigenes working for the firm were still treated as contract staff, a situation they said violated agreements they had with the firm.
Continuing, they said pollution arising from operations of the firm had caused farmers and fishermen severe frustration because it had destroyed their farmlands and the riversâ€ Our people are naturally farmers and fishermen but the activity of the joint venture has destroyed our lands and aquatic lives. The pollution caused by their activities has damaged our crops. â€œ
They said the firm had continued to ignore suggestions and letters from them on how to resolve the problems. â€œNow we want to say that if this is not resolved within three weeks, we may be forced to ask NAOC/NNPC to leave the entire ONELGA before they kill usâ€.
Meanwhile, as at press time, efforts to get comments from the firm failed