29 April 2013, Eket – Nigeria’s crude oil out put drop appears imminent following Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPNU, closure of its operations in Akwa Ibom State, following a crisis between two of its host communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the crisis was between Esit Urua and Mkpanak communities in Eket Local Government Area and Ibeno Local Government Area, respectively.
NAN learnt that the clash between the communities was over ownership of land.
The crisis, which started on April 25, led to destruction of properties in the two neighbouring communities, causing paralysis of social and economic activities in the area as markets and other businesses had remained closed.
The clash spread to the Eket-Ibeno Road Office of Mobil and the management of the company reportedly shut the premises and directed the workers to “go and remain at home till further notice for security reasons.
“The situation in the area forced the management to shut the premises and evacuate most of the expatriate staff by helicopter, from Qua Iboe Terminal to its housing estate in Eket,” a company source said.
It could not be ascertained if Mobil’s oil production activities were also disrupted by the crisis as none of the top officials of the company could be reached.
Commenting on the issue, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Chapter of the Artisanal Fishermen of Nigeria, ARFAN, Mr Samuel Akwayadi, told NAN that the crisis was tense and that traders from the Eastern part of the country who came to buy fish were stranded.
“Traders who came to buy fish from the East are stuck in my shop because of the fight,’’ he said.