By Erukakpomre Promise
For the third day running, thousands of residents of seven Itsekiri host communities who had disrupted operational activities of Con Oil Nigeria Plc at its Obodo Field in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, had vowed not to vacate the facility until their demands were met.
The protesters, who were drawn from Ifiekpo, Uwakeno, Omadino, Ewekwara, Jaluwa Efueye, Aja Osolo and Obodo, the seven host communities under the aegis of OML 15 Communities Consultative Forum, had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the oil firm which expired on Wednesday over its alleged failure to recognise and deal with the newly-elected Comrade Monday Agbeyi-led Exco of the Forum.
The protesters, who carried placards emblazoned with different inscriptions, warned the oil firm to recognise the popularly elected Agbeyi-led Exco or be ready “to vacate our land.”
According to one of the leaders of the protesters, “we are not fighting the Federal Government or the law enforcement agents, but we have vowed to stay here until Con Oil respects our proclamations that it should desists from further dealing with the Charles Omadeli-led Exco which tenure expired on December 21, 2020, but the Comrade Monday Agbeyi-led Exco which was unanimously elected by our communities for a four-year tenure.”
It was further learnt that the protesters were piqued that the oil firm had refused to respect the endorsement by the Delta State Government and the Olu of Warri Palace of the Agbeyi-led exco but engaged in a divided and rule tactics by sponsoring rival groups in order to shirk in delivering its corporate social responsibilities to its host communities.
They urged the oil firm “to respect constituted authorities and start dealing with the Agbeyi-led exco to pave way for the development of our communities.”
The protesters said they detested alleged moves by the oil firm to sabotage the developmental strides and initiatives of the Agbeyi-led exco by sponsoring and working with the former exco which tenure expired on December 21, 2020.
As at press time, the oil firm is yet to react to the development.