Bayelsa community monarch flee palace as protest against Agip escalates

By Emem Idio, Yenagoa – Yenogoa

The protest of Twon-Brass Community in Bayelsa State, hosts to Agip’s Crude Export Terminal took a twist as the protesters sack the Community monarch (names withheld) after he made entreaties to them to discontinue their protest.

The host community has been protesting since last week and disrupted activities at the office premises of the oil firm on the Brass Island where members of the community comprising women, youths, and elders occupied and blocked access to Agip’s operational office demanding immediate restoration of power after two months of outage.

It was gathered that the monarch had tried to persuade the settlement to discontinue their protest while talks with the multinational continue in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, but the protesters rebuffed entreaties from the monarch, attacked him, and sack his palace.

The people alleged that the monarch was complicit in several efforts by Agip to shortchange the community saying they no longer have confidence in his representation in talks with the oil firm.

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The aggrieved members of the community who had blocked access to the oil firm’s office resisted the appeal by the monarch and became restive and hauled missiles at the traditional ruler who was whisked out of the scene to avert violence.

The monarch is reportedly taking refuge at the neigbouring Okpoama Community also in Brass Local Government Area.

Youth President of Twon Brass, Mr Edward Edison, said that the timely intervention of the youths and armed security agencies deployed to the oil firm averted violence but added that a 24-year-old was shot in the process.

He explained that the monarch had to leave the community in a hurry to avert escalation of the situation as the residents vowed to remain in the premises of Agip until power was restored.

The protests by members of the Agip host community had disrupted activities at the oil firm’s office premises located on Brass Island, near the Atlantic coastline.

Chairman of Twon Brass Community Development Committee, CDC, Chief Benjamin Opuala, said the people of Twon Brass will continue to remain peaceful in ventilating their grieviànces over the power outage which had persisted for over two months.

When contacted for response Ms Cioni Maririna, Media Relations Official at Eni, the parent company of Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), declined comments on the development.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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