Home HOME Akwa Ibom community protests SEEPCO marginalization  

Akwa Ibom community protests SEEPCO marginalization  

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Governor Udom Emmanuel

By Dennis Udoma, Senior Correspondent, Uyo

 

The people of Iko community in Eastern – Obolo Local Government of Akwa Ibom have protested against Sterling Energy Exploration and Production Company, for what they described as ‘‘ill treatment of the area’’.

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The protesters, who marched to SEEPCO yard in Iko with placards chanting solidarity songs appealed for payment of compensation for desecrating their cemetery. They also asked SEEPCO to stop work immediately amongst as they have been denied their means of livelihood.

 

They alleged that, SEEPCO has been dredging in the community for two years without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them.

 

Spoke man for the community, Dr Akpor Odje commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the operations of OML 13, adding that, Iko community is blessed with a significant land mass of oil and gas resources.

 

While saying that, OML 13 in Iko was the largest regretted that, as minority their rights have been seized by the larger society within the context of the state and environment.

 

According to him, “what we are trying to do is to draw the attention to the federal government, other authorities and our elected officials to be aware that, the company have to dialogue on the rights to compensation, good environment, and remedial action for the devastated environment.

 

One of the community leaders, Chiefs Roland Numgba who also spoke called on the company to stop work in the OML 13, until it produces a valid EIA and MOU reports faulting the company claims that, it has stopped working on the site.

 

“We are calling on SEEPCO to stop work on Iko OML 13, until it produces a valid EIA and MOU reports. We are protecting our environment, our health and our livelihood. SEEPCO must pay us compensation for all illegal dredging without EIA and the damages caused by desecrating our cemetery.

 

“If they said they have stopped working what then are their bulldozers, swarm buggys and dredgers still doing in our creeks” Numgba asked

 

A youth leader of the community, Mufari Jogomas said, “the company has taken the community as assets, they should also take the community as liability, by taking care of the destruction of the community”

 

“They have refused to look into our demands. They only claim they are not doing dredging but they’re doing other jobs relating to the oil and gas business. We have called them for a roundtable talk but they have refused” Jojomas said.

 

Meanwhile, the management of SEEPCO was unable to comment on the issues raised by the community as effort to contact them t press time failed.

 

 

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