BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN— IKARA, an Itsekiri oil producing community in Ikpoba/Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, weekend, took to the creeks to protest the award of pipeline security/surveillance contract to a security company owned by a Koko-based contractor by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.
The community claimed the company which won the contract had no knowledge of its environment and topography and was not in a position to check the activities of oil pipeline vandals and others.
The protesters which carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Ikara is in pains of frequent oil spill- NPDC save our lives”; “No more aquatic lives in Ogba river”; “Our river, farmland polluted and our means of livelihood seriously threatened”, sang war songs and danced in canoes.
The community leader, Chief Philip Esiedao who spoke with Vanguard shortly after the protest lamented that their only source of livelihood and drinking water had been polluted by the spill which he alleged was being carried out by vandals, oil thieves and illegal operators of artisan refineries in the area.