Egebekiri community, in
Nembe Local Government
Area of Bayelsa State, yesterday
staged a peaceful protest against
a multinational oil company,
Nigerian Agip Oil Company, for
alleged negligence.
The community people took
their peaceful demonstration
along the Obama flow station
operated by the firm, resulting
in the disruption of production
in four oil wells 5, 7, 9 and 12.
They were aggrieved that
Agip had allegedly failed to
pay them any form of royalties
or related with them officially
since the company began oil
exploration in the community
over 40 years ago.
The community lamented
that despite a Supreme Court
judgment of 13 July 2007 which
confirmed them as the legal
owners of the land hosting the
oilfields, Agip had continued to
give their rights and benefits to
some persons in neighbouring
communities.
One of the protesters, Egbe
John said the company had
refused to recognise them as the
landlords of the environment
where it had been extracting oil
from four oil wells in Obama
field.
“It is 10 years now since the
apex court’s ruling and yet,
Agip has yet to show that it
honours the ruling of the court.
“The company has yet to
recognise and deal with us as
landlord of the environment
where the company has
continued to extract crude oil
from four oil wells in their
Obama oilfield.”
Also speaking, head of
Egebekiri community, Karibi
MacDonald said they were
tired of writing letters to official
quarters seeking intervention
without any fruitful response.
“And today, we are saying we
are tired after writing over 30
letters to various departments,
including the Bayelsa State
governor, his special advisers
on oil and gas and security,
headquarters and sector
commands of the Joint Task
Force, commander, Central
Naval Command. Where have
we not written to? Even up to
Milan, the head office of Eni.”
In her comment, a daughter of
the founder of the community,
Ofabara M. Egebe insisted that
the community could no longer
endure the neglect, as

it hadnothing to show for being an
oil-producing community.
“The only little
compensation made by Agip
then was for destruction of
economic trees, of which
we still have receipt of that
payment. Nothing more has
been given to our community
by way of contracts or royalties
as landlord hosting four oil
wells operated by Agip.
“We are tired of the suffering
and injustices being meted
out to us by the firm. The
development has informed
our protest to let people know
about what we are going
through as a people.”
Several calls to the public
relations officer, Agip, Dan
Onyeghala, indicated that
his mobile phone was not
reachable.


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