Nigeria: Ijaw, Itsekiri communities protest oil spills in Escravos

Some women protesters at Chevron's Abiteye flowstation

Some women protesters at Chevron’s Abiteye flowstation

06 December 2014, Warri – Women and youths from four communities, in their hundreds, on Thursday, took over the Abitiye flow station, a facility of the American oil giants, Chevron Nigeria Limited, to vent their spleens over alleged oil spills by the oil firm.

The protesters were drawn mainly from Benikurukuru, Kenyangbene, Bateren and Deghelle, all in Warri South West council of Delta State.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions as ‘No compensation, no vacation of the flowstation’, CNL pay us our compensations over oil spills’, among others, even as they also chanted anti-establishment songs to drive home their demands.

Narrating why the communities embarked on the peaceful protest, Kelvin Ojogun from Benikurukuru community said they were piqued by the company’s refusal to meet the agreements earlier reached on oil spills, which ravaged the communities.

He disclosed that when the first spill occurred in August 2008, the company agreed to send relief materials and also pay full compensations to the affected communities, saying to their dismay, the oil firm reneged on the pledge.

He further stated that on April 2014, another spill occurred in Abiteye flow station, saying the communities petitioned the company to the National Assembly, which ordered it to pay compensation and clean up the area.

He said till this moment, the company was yet to yield to the directive of the National Assembly, which prompted the communities to embarked on the action to further force it (the company) to address the contentious issue.

“On the spill of April 2014, Chevron accepted full responsibility but all efforts to get the management to give relief materials and pay adequate compensation to the impacted fishermen and communities have proved abortive despite the acceptance of liability by Chevron Nigeria Limited”, he said.

Corroborating him, Women Leader, Profit John, from Kenyangbene, maintained that the communities have been patient for too long and accused the oil firm of taking them for granted.

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