Soldiers, Protesters Clashed at Agip Oil Facility, Three in Critical Condition
By Adedayo Osho
August 11th, 2020
A protest by locales on OB/OB gas plant operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Omoku, a town in Rivers State, has left many injured, yesterday Monday 10th of August, 2020.
Some indigenes of Obosi quarters in Omoku had since last week surrounded Agip's gas plant over alleged failure of the company to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community.
On 20th of February, 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated an order mandating multinational oil companies involved in exploration to enter a direct MoU with their host communities.
Following the protesters' refusal to allow engineers of the gas plant access the facility to fix the turbine that supplies free electricity to Omoku and adjoining communities, as well as debar drilling operations, Agip deployed soldiers to the gas plant, Oil and Gas Goodness learnt.
The soldiers who reportedly arrived the facility by 12:45 A.M, shot some of the agitators, leaving about ten wounded and three in critical condition in the hospital.
Obosi Youth President, Pureheart Ekeukwu, said the soldiers were deployed by NAOC to brutalise innocent protesters who were merely asking the company to deliver corporate social responsibility to its host community.
He maintained that "Agip mobilised the Nigerian army, and the soldiers came to drive out the protesters from the facility around midnight."
He added that "They came and started beating old men and women. They stripped old women, forced them into their vehicle and dropped them at Omoku-Obrikom road that night. Three people are critical in the hospital now. Many others also sustained injuries."
Ekeukwu insisted "We are under panic now, but we will not call off the protest. We will end this protest when they meet our demands."
Many Omoku chiefs were accused of running away from their home to seek abode in hotels until now since the outbreak of the clash, raising suspicion of their connivance with the multinational oil company.