27 November 2015, Uyo—Hundred of youths from Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have protested over oil spill compensation which has allegedly been paid to the Paramount Ruler, HRM Edidem Ukpa.
They stated that when they located the areas that had been affected by the spill, they presented the issue before Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited for compensation.
Leader of the protesters, Mr. Sam Akpan, lamented that Ibeno, Esit Eket, and Eket Local Government Areas which he said followed the same procedures as they did, had also been paid their compensation.
All attempts to speak with the paramount ruler, Ukpa, on the issue at press time proved abortive as he did not answer calls placed to his mobile telephone nor respond to text message sent to him.
Akpan explained that when the first compensation was paid, it was the youths who collected the money, N960 million, and gave it to the paramount ruler, adding that the paramount ruler along with members of his council and a few other people spent the money without giving them (youths) their due.
He added that when the youths asked Edidem Ukpa and members of his council about the money, they were told to be patient until the last set of compensation would be paid.
He said: “Last year Mobil had problems with the community over oil spill. We selected people to confirm the areas where the spill occurred. They did and brought the report which we presented to Mobil for compensation. When the first compensation of N960 million was paid, we were the ones who took it to our paramount ruler.
“When we later asked them for our share of the money, they asked us to wait for the next one. And when the next one came, they asked us to wait for the third one.
We were the ones who went to Mobil and collected the money to our paramount ruler, who connived with other members of the community and and spent the money without giving us our due.”