By Festus Ahon
UGHELLIâ€”The operations of Nigerian Agip Oil Company has suffered a serious setback, following the shutting down of its Oleh Station, Delta State, by angry protesters for the past seven days.
The protesters made up of women, men and youths from Oleh had as early as 6:00am last week Wednesday stormed Agip station in peaceful demonstration against the oil company for wrong naming of oil well, among other issues.
The protesters, who barricaded the road leading to the oil station, called for immediate reversal of the name of the oil location from Irri Well 5 to Oleh Well 1A, in line with the initial agreement reached by the company and the community.
Speaking to newsmen on behalf of the protesters, Elder J.I. Ossoh said: â€œIt is morally wrong for Agip to have named an oil well located in Oleh after Irri, a neighbouring community, after series of meeting held with the companyâ€™s management on the issue with a promise to effect the change.
â€œMost painful and annoying is the fact that the company, through letters dated 8 August 2003 and 2 July 2009 respectively, addressed to the Community Development Committee, Oleh, claimed to have effected the change.
â€œBut to our chagrin, we have discovered that that is not true, hence we decided to stage this peaceful demonstration and as it is, no change of name, no further drilling.â€
At least five of the protesting women sustained various degrees of injuries while scampering for safety during a suicide-driving mission by the company drivers in an attempt to scare the protesters.
Effort to reach the management of Agip Oil Company for comments proved abortive at press time.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to Delat State Governor on Oil and Gas, Mr David Ekorokosu, has appealed to the protesters calm.
Ekorokosu, who made the appeal when he visited the oil location at Oleh, Monday, said Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was committed to the sustenance of peace in all parts of the state and urged the protesters to re-open the station.