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
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
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
“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
“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
“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.