Imo youths shut down oil firm over alleged neglect

Operators in the real sector relying on diesel and gas for production now grapple with higher operational costs amidst drop in capacity utilisation levels. There were no casualties reported in the attack on the plant operated by Britain’s BP, Norway’s Statoil and Algerian company Sonatrach.STR / AFP

Youths of Ameshi in Oguta, Imo State yesterday shut down operations of Sterling Global Oil Company while protesting alleged neglect of the community by the firm.

The youths barricaded the entrance of the company carrying placards. They alleged that the management of the firm was constructing a road from Anambra to Rivers State while bypassing Oguta and failing to meet their requests.

They also demanded suspension of work in the company pending the resolution of the issues and urged the federal and Imo State governments to intervene in the matter.

Some of the placards read: “Federal Government save us,” “Enough of this marginalization,” “Owelle come to or rescue,” “This divide and rule must stop,” and “Our land has been polluted by the company’s exploration activities.”

Speaking to journalists, President of Oguta Youth Organisation, Mr. Anthony Udogaranya, said since two years the company commenced operations in the community, it was yet to do anything for them.

“We are calling on the Federal Government to arrest the situation before it gets out of hand. This is the third time we have come here and nothing has happened in terms of listening to us,” he said

Meanwhile, representative of Oguta constituency in the Imo House of Assembly, Henry Ezediaro, said he was disappointed over the stand of the authorities on the matter, adding that the house had invited the company’s representatives to appear before it but they had failed to honour the invitation.

Ezediro, who is also the House Committee Chairman on Petroleum and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said: “We insist that they must appear before the House of Assembly before any further construction will continue. We are calling for total stoppage of activity. They cannot continue to explore oil here like that.”

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