Youths of Abuetor, Agbere, Osekwenike and Osifo communities in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state on Tuesday, occupied the premises of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, (NAOC) Samabri flow station and shut it down over what they described as neglect, marginalisation, exclusion of stakeholders, youths and indigenous contractors, unemployment and community development.
The youths under the aegis of the Samabri Agip Host Communities Youth Federation who took over the flow station at the early hours of Tuesday, congested the premises after locking up Agip’s well-head, saying enough is enough of the neglect and inhuman treatment on the communities by management of the company.
The protest which entered its second day led by Perfect Ikpekri, President General Samabri Agip Host Communities Youths Federation, Hilari Orusomu, its secretary general, Micheal Lewis CDC chairman, Agbere town and Omoro Akpoeyiemi Secretary, vowed to continued to occupy the flow station until their demands are met.
The protesters said that the peaceful protest against Agip for neglecting the land over the past years and the company taking them for granted, was a strong signals to them that they were no longer interested in the company’s gimmicks.
Speaking with our correspondent, President General of Samabri Agip Host Communities Youths Federation, Perfect Ikpekri, disclosed that “despite our peaceful disposition to peaceful oil exploration activities for over 20 years in our communities, the company has failed to fulfil their promise of youth employment, contracts to our people and community development.
“Agip is of the wicked oil companies we have ever seen in the part of this world. They make promises and don’t fulfil them. The protest and the shutdown of the flow stations was due to the failure of the Agip to respect the host communities. They do things in secrecy, don’t carry the communities along and based on that we held a meeting and decided to shut down the flow station as a warning signal.”, the youth leader said.
When contacted for comments, an official of the company in the area who witnessed the peaceful protest and simply identified himself as Clifford, declined comment, saying ” I can not talk to the press on this issue.”
Meanwhile as at press time, the protesters were still protesting at the flow station with a rented canopy been used as rest place.