Ex-militants block road to ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe terminal

02 April 2012, Sweetcrude, EKET – Youths, claiming to be ex-Niger Delta agitators on Monday blocked the access road to ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe Oil Terminal in Ibeno, near Eket, Akwa Ibom.

The more than 2,000 youths turned back oil workers and a security convoy that conveyed expatriates to the oil field.

They said they were protesting the continued neglect of the oil communities in Akwa Ibom.

The youths carried placards demanding the relocation of the headquarters of Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) from Lagos to Akwa Ibom.

They said that the oil firm must comply with the directives from Federal Government to move their headquarters to the operational areas.

The move, according to them, would provide jobs for the ex-Niger Delta agitators, who had embraced non-violence.

Mr Kingsley Umoh, spokesman and leader of the ex-Niger Delta agitators in Akwa Ibom told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibeno that the youths were protesting the neglect of MPN of its obligations to the communities.

“What we are protesting is long time neglect of the oil bearing communities in Akwa Ibom by Mobil. The government had enjoined all oil companies to create jobs to engage the youths meaningfully.

“In the case of Mobil, rather than create jobs, they have been taking away the vital departments, where our youths are engaged and leaving the youths to wallow in idleness,” Umoh said.

NAN further reports that attempts by the police, led by the Area Commander, Mr Ene Okon, to persuade the youths to stop the protest and talk with the authorities yielded no results.

The youths insisted that the road remained blocked, while talks were ongoing.
The Police Area Commander had pledged to convene a meeting with the management of Mobil and the youths leaders to resolve the face off.

Hundreds of oil workers, contractors and visitors to the Qua Iboe Terminal remained stranded for hours on the Eket Ibeno road and later turned back to their homes.

The leaders of the protesters, various security operatives and officials of the oil firm later entered into a closed door meeting in the premises of MPN.

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  • Jeremy, as usual you have outlined some inienesttrg thoughts but in my view, your analysis is missing certain critical issues. I think you are ignoring the role poverty and ignorance plays in this equation. I think you’ll find that a good number of christians in other countries believe in the supernatural as well. I don’t know if it came to your notice that Sarah Palin was prayed for by a Kenyan pastor who is known for his witch-hunting/delivering work. Belief in any number of things is not peculiar to Africans and i object to this ‘otherisation’ of Africans. After all there are people who believe that arranging objects in your living space in a certain way promotes positive energy. How is anyone else to know whether this is true or not? The answer is we don’t. Anyone is free to believe whatever they want, the problem arises where that leads to harm to others and this is where any productive work in this area will be achieved. So instead of deriding people’s beliefs, perhaps we should be looking at education. There is no best way to live a life and if someone wants to spend their own life afraid of anything be it cracks in the pavements or their neighbour’s ‘powers’, it shouldn’t bother anyone else as long as the effects of their belief are not afecting others negatively. Waffy, for the most part i agree with your points about poor parental skills in Nigeria. I have thought about this issue a lot myself. However i have to disagree with you on the matter of boarding schools. The context is not the same as in England where children were basically sent away so as not to be nuisances to their parents.So in my view,this experience of abandonment that you describe is not universal by any means. Of course i cannot deny your experiences but what i would say is that this kind of setup requires that parents be attuned to the personalities of their children and take approporiate action if boarding school does not suit their child. For every one of you, there will be others like me who absolutely loved it and flourished in that environment. I know i struggled to adjust to being a day student when i had to change schools later. Secondly, you talked about parents not raising independent children that can move out at the age of 18. I think you are ignoring massive societal differences between Nigeria and other countries. It is basically impossible in Nigeria to move out the way you can in many Western countries. To where is an 18 year old supposed to move in Nigeria? Who will hire him/her? Just take a look at graduates working and earning a salary in Nigeria. You’ll find that many cannot afford basic accomodation much less the other costs of living alone. Have you considered the cost of renting in Lagos recently? Or do you imagine that so many grown adults are happy to be stuck to their parents for so long? This state of affairs is a result of condition, as people say. In the UK, a growing number of young people are moving back home after university because they cannot afford to live on their own and because it allows them to save for that vital mortgage. I think you are wrongly connecting this issue with parenting. D