.BREAKING: Host community shuts down Agip station in Delta

By Ochuko Akuopha, UGHELLI

TWENTY-ONE days after  they barricaded the roads leading to the oil wells being operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited , NAOC, in protest against their alleged “gross neglect” by the company, indigenes of Idheze community, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State,  have vowed not to lift their blockage on the facilities until their demands were met.

The indigenes, mostly women, started the peaceful protest on July 6, 2022, alleging that the company had over  the last 10 years neither carried out any infrastructural development in the area nor gave employment to their people.

Public Relations Officer of Idheze Community, Mr. Power Okpure, while giving details of the protest, said they were yet to get any meaningful response from the multi-national oil company after three weeks of being in the bush under the rain and sun.

He said: “NAOC has refused to accede to our demands and we are prepared to sustain the agitation, which is our right and legal obligation of NAOC.  Before we embarked on the protest, we wrote several letters to the company, which they ignored.

“The Delta State government invited them twice to discuss our complaints, they failed to honour the invitations. And when we began the protest on July 6, Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas invited us to a meeting with  NAOC officials on July 11.

“At that meeting, the oil company attested to the fact that Idheze Community has been a very peaceful host without any history of vandalism or oil theft. But is this how to repay a peaceful community?

“This is a company that has failed to develop our land and refused to employ our people for over 10 years. Instead of asking the company to listen to us, we are being asked to suspend our protest. This is unfair and we will not lift the blockage until our demands are met.”

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