By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa
Armed Soldiers on Saturday invaded the site of three Agip Oil wells shut down by angry Indigenes of Ikebiri community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area council of Bayelsa State.
The angry Ikebiri Indigenes had on Friday night shut down three Oil production well heads belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over alleged neglect and refusal of the company to re-award the abandoned projects under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
The pritesting Ikebiri Indigenes shut down We’ll heads 9, 14 and 11.
Leadership gathered yesterday that the armed soldiers from the Niger Delta Security Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe were immediately deployed and the oil wells were unlocked.
The ikebiri indigenes, numbering 60 and made up of Youths, women and elders, armed with placards with inscriptions such ” Enough is Enough: Ikebiri says No to Agop Neglect”, ” Stop divifde and rule,Give us our Qhuck Impact jobs” had at about 9pm locked down the Agip Oil wells at about 9pm on friday.
It was also gathered that though armed soldiers were deployed to unlock the locked oil wells about 12 hours lated on saturday, the Ikebiri indigenes have vowed to continue the dustroption of Agip facilities in the community.
The Chairman of the Ikebiri Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Timiondi Fabofirghe, told leadership on telephone, that the dustruption of Agip Oil production activity was caused by the refusal of the company to reaward abadoned projects and include the community as beneficiaries of Quick Impact project in the absence of a GMoU.
Fabofighe said ” Yes, it is true that we shut down three Oil wells belonging to Agip. We have tried legal and peaceful means to prevail on the AGIP Oil company to sign a GMoU and they have refused. The GMoU provides that a project is sighted and completed. But with a GMoU expiration, the NAOC awarded Quick Impact jobs with the exclusion of Ikebiri.”
“When we approach them, they said it was too late for the community to demand Quick Impact jobs. But they did not inform us.All we are demanding is the ommedoate award of contract to complete the abadoned projects and the immeduate release of quick Impact jobs to the community.”
An indigene of the Community and the State Secetary of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Comrade Timi Igoli, while confirming the development, said instead of NAOC to discuss with the angry indigenes of the community, ” they invited the armed soldiers into the dispute.This was what led to the killing of seven indigenes in the ast during protest.”
” Ikebiri, which is rich in Oil and Gas have been neglected and cheated by Agip. The abadoned water project must be completed. The NAOC built a hospital at Ikebiri 1 without beds and equipment The patients now lie down on bare floor. ”