Nigeria: Panic As Militants Blow Up AGIP Facility in Rivers

22 November 2021

Port Harcourt — Host communities of oil well, Obiavu-5 (OB5), operated by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, (NAOC), in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, are now living in fear following attack on the company's facility by suspected militant group.

THISDAY gathered that a new militant group in the Niger Delta region under the aegis of Bayan-Men blew up the said facility on Tuesday night.

It was further learned that the militants action was as a result of the alleged failure of the oil firm to deal directly with their host communities.

Leader of the Bayan-Men group who gave his name simply as "General" in Port Harcourt yesterday noted that the action was due to the refusal of the firm to allow the people benefit from their operation in the area, adding that the firm was neck deep in divide and rule.

The General said: "The only thing we want Agip to do is to deal directly with the 27 communities of Omoku, according to the Federal Government resolution. We don't want Agip to be negotiating with anybody. They should deal with the communities. If they continue like this, what we have done now is small to what we will do if they continue. They should not keep us together and treat us as one. They should treat communities individually.

"We are not joking. We are not interested in killing anybody. Our interest is that they must do the right thing else we will keep blowing up their facilities. We are giving them 24 hours to start the process of doing the right thing."

The Coordinator-General of Omoku Community Youth Leaders Forum, (OCYLF), Ekeuku Pureheart, who confirmed the incident, disclosed that the development was as a result of the failure of Agip to adhere to the demands of the people.

Pureheart noted that the matter was simply for Agip to recognise the various communities that make up Omoku, adding that the boys were threatening to carry out more attacks if Agip does not do the needful.

He called for the intervention of the federal government in the matter to prevent further damages.

Pureheart said: "Federal government intervened a longtime ago. Now some uncontrollable boys and some militia group have blown up Agip oil well, OB5. Obiavu-5 is the name of the oil well. The boys are still threatening that if Agip does not engage directly with the communities of Omoku and give them what is due them that they will do more.

"We are calling on the federal government and other relevant agencies to intervene before things get out of hand. This may cause drop in production. The government does not need any situation that will result to further drop in production to occur.

"They should adhere to federal government resolution of February 27th, 2021, and that agreement must be implemented in line with the Petroleum Industry Act. We are urging the FG to stop up to ensure that the agreement is implemented in full.

"The group is saying enough is enough. Agip is working with few individuals in Omoku to oppress the people and the boys are saying they will no longer take that."

He noted that till yesterday , Agip was still struggling to put out the ravaging fire on the facility.

Pureheart: "Agip is already there trying to bring down the flame. They are there with fire fighters to bring the fire under control.

"The group is saying that Agip should deal with individual communities, that is what the law provides. Omoku is a cluster of communities. And the law says when you reach any land treat them differently and give them what is due them."

Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, the Agip company was yet to react on the incident

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