By Ochuko Akuopha, Oleh
Hundreds of Indigenes of Oleh community, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, have besieged the premises of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in the area, protesting against their alleged neglect by the multinational oil company.
The protesters who were drawn from the Adoke, Egbedemi, Ovuorien, Eraro, Ebave, Oko, Olulu/Atedezi, Okparo/Edubi and Emiye families of the host community, lamented the nonchalant attitude of the company to the challenges facing the community.
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“Despite all that they drill from our land no single Oleh son works in the company as a direct staff. What they give to us is casual works and after three months they retrench them. Some time ago, Agip trained some of our youths on Skill Acquisition since then they haven’t presented any starter packs to them.
“Now our mothers are here saying enough is enough if they don’t employ their youths and empower the women they are not going back home again.”
On his part, Engr. Joseph Okolo noted that the noise level and vibrations from the Agip’s equipment had resulted in the cracking of buildings around the facility with resultant health hazards to residents.
Contacted, Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba appealed to the people to shelve the protest, saying Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was committed to ensuring peaceful relations between oil companies and host communities.
He said: “In Delta State, we have a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) which guides the activities of oil companies and their host communities. With such GMOUs, we capture the interest of the communities, the oil companies and the government and I can assure them that no interests will be left out since all parties must be present during the signing of such GMOUs”.