June 19, 2024

Rivers community locks up Agip head office


Adewale Akintaro

Indigenes of Mgbuosimini community in Rumueme Kingdom, Obio/Akpor Local Area of Rivers State, on Monday, locked the operational headquarters of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in a peaceful protest, accusing the Italian firm of awarding contracts to killer cult groups.

Men, women and youths of Mgbuosimini community numbering over 1000 stormed the main gate of Agip as early as 6:30am, stopped workers from accessing their workplace, alleging that the oil giant has not lived up to expectations in the community.

The community members who brought masquerades, erected canopies and chairs, while singing and dancing with many banners bearing different inscriptions such as “Agip must revisit PIA implementation,” “We demand all entitlements,” etc.

Leader of the protest and Acting Chairman of Mgbuoshimini Community Development Council, Weli Nyeche, in a statement issued during the demonstration, which paralysed business activities at the company, said they shut down Agip to drive home lingering issues.

The 10-point demands of Mgbuoshimini community are: “That all contracts awarded to the wanted killer group led by a wanted notorious killer Daddy Chukwu a.k.a Oboni, who was declared wanted by the Nigerian Police Force for the killing of more than 40 persons in the Community including the gruesome killing of Chief Ndidi Livingstone the Community Development Council (CDC) Chairman, in January, 2024, should be terminated as the deceased chairman will be buried on Thursday June 13, 2024.

“That Agip Oil Company Limited has in a written response to Mgbuoshimini Community signed by its General Manager District stated that they had done due diligence on the Companies belonging to Daddy Chukwu and this to the Community is a show of complicity and unacceptable.

“That the Community hears that Agip Oil Company Limited has been sold to Oando PLC without carrying the host Mgbuoshimini Community along knowing that Agip does not have an absolute lease on our ancestral land among many other legal issues. This is unacceptable and we demand justice.

“That Agip should pay the sum of N100 billion to Mgbuosimini Community in compensation for over sixty years of neglect and several damages caused Mgbuosimini Community.

“That the irreducible demand of Mgbuoshimini Community is that any invitation for a meeting should be backed by an invitation letter to the Mgbuoshimini Community Chairman signed by the GMD which meeting shall be led by the Managing Director himself since the District management has failed, refused and neglected to resolve the issues.”

Nyeche continued: “That Agip should ensure to implement fully the items in our 16-paragraph Charter of Demands or the Community will sustain the peaceful protest until the demands are met.

“That Nigerian Agip Oil Company should stop using Mgbuoshimini Community as a platform to undermine Nigeria’s national security and institutions by sponsoring crisis and wanted groups.

“That Crema Giordano, District General Manager of Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited must be made to face the law for his full blooded racist disposition towards Nigerians in NAOC including Mgbuoshimini Community and this fact is not in dispute.

“That all known Management Staff of NAOC who have been promoting crisis in Mgbuoshimini Community and working against the interest of the host community must be brought to justice.

“That NAOC should comply with the judgments of Court in respect of the rightful traditional Authority in Rumueme Kingdom as it also affects Mgbuoshimini interest and Rumueme kingdom in general with a view to stop trading our rights and entitlements to impostors.”

Another stakeholder in Mgbuoshimini community, Mr Livingstone Wechie, said the community despite playing host yoNAOC for over 60 years, has been neglected with impunity.

“It is important as law-abiding people, to put out this message that Cremaga Deephany, General Manager District of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, who makes comments and takes actions to undermine Nigeria’s identity as well as that of Mgbuoshimini community to promote conflicts and crisis in our community.

“We are saying Mgbuoshimini community deserves protection. Our community cannot be used as a killing field. We are demanding that Mgbuoshimini community should be given her rightful place in the affairs of Nigerian Agip Oil Company as entitled by the laws of this nation.”

Meanwhile, the management of NAOC is yet to respond to the allegations and demands of Mgbuoshimini community at the time of filing the report.

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