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Tension in Rivers as soldiers shoot at armless protesters, kill one

By Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT—ONE person was been feared dead in Rumuji community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, during a protest by youths of the area against an oil company operating in the community.

Rumuji youths had mobilised and laid siege to the company’s premises over alleged abandonment and neglect of the host community before the soldier dispersed them with gunfire.

Soldiers attached to the company had opened fire on the youths, who were said to be on a peaceful demonstration.

It was gathered that no fewer than three persons were hit by stray bullets from the security operatives.

Vanguard learned that Chizam Nyeche, Nna Aloha and one other person, whose name could not be ascertained at press time, were hit by the bullets from the soldiers mounting guard at the company.

The President of Landlords and Youths Association, Rumuji, Chikordi Ojims, claimed that the company has refused to come for review of terms and conditions in which they acquired a plot of the land for N5,500.

Ojims threatened that he will continue to mobilise for the protest if the matter is not properly resolved.

Meanwhile, the Rumuji Divisional Police Headquarters, led by its Divisional Police Officer, has intervened and engaged the youths and the company in a meeting.

It was gathered that the protesters have been urged to put their demands in writing and submit to the company for a round table negotiation, which the youths agreed to do but threatened to continue their protest until their demands are met.

Representatives of the company declined to speak on the development.

However, the Public Relations Officer, 6 Division, Rivers State, Col Aminu Ilyasu, said he will comment on the development soon.




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