Reactions trail youth protest at Onne O & G Free Zone

Onne Oil & gas free zoneMkpoikana Udoma

20 November 2014, Sweetcrude,  Port Harcourt – More reactions have continued to trail the clash between Eleme and Okrika youths who went to protest at the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in Onne, on Monday.

A coalition of Wakrike Community Service, Environmental Right Crusade and Wakrike Youth Federation has condemned the alleged attack on some Okrika youths by Eleme youths during the protest.

The legal adviser of the group, Mr. Tamunotonye Ajubo said it is worrisome for Eleme youths to attack the youths of Okrika who were merely carrying out a peaceful protest at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone over their rights.

According to him, “subsequent provisions in that section say, ‘in case of future expansions other communities are to be seen and recognized as host communities to the extent of expansion of the wharf itself’. Now as we all know and as t is on record, Onne port has seen 5major expansions, phase one, two, three, and phase four which is in A and B expansion. Now we are saying categorically from phase 3 to phase 4 A and B expansions falls on the Okrika man’s land, and therefore we are also a host to the FTZ”.

Mr. Tamnuotonye Ajubo a legal practitioner expressed sadness that the alleged attack on the Okrika youths took place despite the fact that security operatives were informed of a peaceful protest.

He also alleged that 2 youths from Okrika were killed during the fracas while 4 others were abducted.

In his own speech, a representative of Okrika Local Government Council, Mr. Cyril Bamson appeals to Okrika youths to remain calm as efforts intensifies to handle the situation.

“We have just heard all what that transpired on Monday, Okrika Local Government Chairman has called on our youths not to carry out any reprisal attack. Though we have heard what the Eleme people are up to, but we are not going to join issues with the Eleme Local government chairman, since the matter has been reported to the appropriate authorities, we believe the authorities will take appropriate actions”

The Eleme community had earlier complained of what they described as unprovoked invasion into their land by Okrika youths who were protesting their exclusion in the companies operating in the Onne Free Trade Zone.

About the Author