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Ex-militants shut down oil firm’s gate in Warri over job slots

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Peaceful placard carrying rotesting ex-militants at the premises of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL) office Warri

WARRI- Hundreds of peaceful protesting placards carrying ex-militants today (Tuesday) have shut down the gate of the largest oil mining lease in the Niger Delta OML 30.

Operators, of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL).

 

 

The protesters, bearing placards with various messages, vowed

unpleasant reactions if the company dares to bring in ‘foreigners’ to

take over interfacing for the host communities.

 

Tension had increased in the last few days when communities alleged

that the operators of the oil mining license, Heritage Energy

Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), was in the process of replacing

the OML 30 Community Development Board (CDB), with a non-governmental

organization (NGO).

 

It would be recalled that not less than two flowstations of the oil

bloc were occupied on Monday in Erhoike and Olomoro by angry community

protesters over other grievances, including some certain unfulfilled

commitments to them and an to attempt circumvent a direct interface

with them (communities), through the use of a non-government

organization.

 

Expressing their anger during yesterday’s protest, the ex-militants

said the alleged attempt to bring in a third part into the

relationship with the communities, if allowed, would derail the peace

and smooth run of operations in OML 30, insisting that the communities

were capable of managing a peaceful relationship with the oil company

without the help of any outsider.

 

Speaking on behalf of the protesting ex-militants and community

youths, the chairman of the third phase of the Presidential Amnesty

Programme, Kingsley Odiri Agas; and a youth leader of OML 30

communities, Comrade Lord Tennyson, said both the youths and the

ex-militants had resolved to resist what they described as an

intrusion of the peace of their area.

 

“We the youths of OML 30, in collaboration with ex-militants phases 1

to 3, have gathered here to protest what we feel will cause trouble in

our region here. We, have been enjoying relative peace in OML 30, the

youths and the ex-militants have been able together to say there’s no

need for us to have any problem in OML30; let production go up, lot

government make more income so that they can come back will come back

with development for our community and then we will then benefit as

youths.

 

“This coexistence has been existing, for some time now we’ve not had

any problem, there has been peace. If you look well you will see that

there has not been any issue of vandalism, but recently there has been

this uproar in OML 30 that there’s an NGO that came in that want to

take over the leadership of security others from our people.

 

“According to them they came to ask us to down our tools and work with

them so that things will improve, but we said no, that we are already

at peace among ourselves, we are satisfied with the peace we are

having now. They have gone into my community, met with the

ex-militants that are there and tried to incite them so that they will

attack us.

 

“They told us of one Judith, a woman from the U.S and of Stephen and

Stanley, who are from Rivers, that they came to our own land here to

take our surveillance contract, from where the youths and the

ex-militants are enjoying little from. The NGO man came, they are from

Peaceworks, the two men are working with the American woman. This

Peaceworks is an NGO which works with either government or oil

companies.

 

“When I heard about it, I called a meeting of youth leaders of OML 30,

we met with ex-militant leaders and we resolved that we will not allow

them to set confusion in OML 30. We then decided to embark on this

peaceful protest to Heritage that we don’t need these kind of people

in our place. We are capable of protecting our assets that government

has put in our area. We don’t want foreigners, we don’t want

Peaceworks in OML 30”, the protesters said.

 

However, the protest was later dispersed when the Security Manager of

HEOSL, Dr Okey Okocha, showed up at the scene of the protest and

assured the protesters that their message had been received and

promised to take same to the company’s management.

 

But in a brief reaction to the development, an official of Academic

Associate Peaceworks (AAPW), Stephen Iyama, enumerated the

achievements of his organisation’s achievement in peace building in

the Niger Delta region.

 

“Peaceworks is a notable organization, they facilitated the peace

process by establishing the Niger Delta Dialogue which played

prominent role as interface between the Niger Delta Avengers  and the

federal government. Judy, Stephen and Stanley are known for

contributing peace in Niger Delta.

Judy facilitated the peace between IJaw and Itsekiri crisis.  Okrika

and Eleme crisis.  Asari and Ateke peace.  MEND and federal govt

peace. Peaceworks is the home of peace.

 

“Last year we made peace between the different cult groups terrorizing

Ughelli and its adjoining communities. The peace Ughelli community is

enjoying today was facilitated by Peaceworks”, he said.

 

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