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 protesting Ikebiri indigenes shut down Well 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 Agip Neglect”, “Stop divide and rule, Give us our Qhuck Impact jobs” had at about 9pm locked down the Agip Oil wells on Friday.
It was also gathered that though armed soldiers were deployed to unlock the locked oil wells about 12 hours late on Saturday, the Ikebiri indigenes have vowed to continue the disruption of Agip facilities in the community.
The chairman of the Ikebiri Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Timiondi Fabofirghe, told LEADERSHIP on telephone, that the disruption of Agip Oil production activity was caused by the refusal of the company to reaward abandoned 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 immediate award of contract to complete the abandoned projects and the immediate release of quick Impact jobs to the community.”