BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN – PROTESTING farmers in Auchi, Estako West Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday, locked out the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, including the Corporation Flow Station Manager, Mr Duke Ijirigho, over alleged failure of the company to pay compensation to farmers for the alleged spillage which they had suffered.
The farmers, who commenced the protest as early as 7am, came out in their hundreds, chanting war songs. They locked all the entrance to the station and vowed to shut down the flow station if their compensations were not paid immediately.
Mr Audu Momodu, who led the protest, said the management of the NNP had failed to meet their earlier request for compensation, adding that many farmers in the area had packed up due to the destruction caused on their farms as a result of the spill.
While alleging that the management of NNPC was insensitive to the plight of the farmers, he added that several meetings with the corporation yielded no result, which was why they decided to take their destiny in their hands.
“They had made several promises and refused to fulfill any, not even the relief materials they promised at the earlier stage. Nigerians should know that we have been patient enough and we can no longer exercise more. It is our means of livelihood that we are talking about here,” he added.
Also speaking, the chairman of the farmers, Alhaji Jafaru Amedu, reiterated their resolve to continue with their protest until payment they were paid by the NNPC.