Youths from five communities in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday shut a Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) oil well over alleged neglect of the communities.
The Akala-Olu, Ukpeliede Enito II, Emeji II in Ogbobi clan and Oshie communities of Egeni clan expressed regrets that NAOC abandoned the General Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) it had with the communities.
The youths, who were enraged by the underdevelopment and lack of basic infrastructure like, pipe borne water, good roads in the area shut down Oshie oil well 7 operated by NAOC.
Speaking during the peaceful protest, the youth President of Ukpeliede community, Comrade Obigili Freeman, stressed that NAOC had not been truthful to the host communities, adding that agreements reached in the GMoU had not been attended to.
Freeman said, “Agip has failed us in the Corporate Social Responsibility to the host communities. A company that has operated in these communities for over 40 years, yet the communities have not benefitted anything tangible.
“Since they started operating here they have not employed any of our people in the company not even as a cleaner. We have Oshie well 7 and 12, still we lack social amenities, like road, water and school.
“In 2003 they accepted and gave us light. After two years we got the light, they reduced it to six hours each day, but now they have cut us off. We want them to restore constant light to us, make arrangements on how to renovate our delapidating school.”
He wondered why the company abandoned a water project it started in the area, adding that the people are drinking polluted water.
However, Freeman, said the youths would continue in the peaceful demonstration until the oil giant meets the demands of the communities.
Meanwhile, NAOC when contacted on the issues raised by the protesting youths from the communities declined comments.