16 June 2016, Port Harcourt – A group of former Niger Delta militants have issued a 14-day ultimatum to oil companies operating in Ekpeyeland to leave the area or face massive vandalisation of their assets.
The ex-agitators known as Ekpeye Liberation Group, who claimed to be behind the attack on Well 5 in Akara Olu, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, explained that the eviction notice was due to the oil companies’ refusal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Ekpeye communities.
They expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged nonchalant attitude by the oil firms to the killings and kidnapping in the Ekpeyeland.
A statement on Thursday signed by the spokesman of the group, Obodo Obodo, identified the oil firms as Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources.
It added that though Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited had signed one MoU with the communities, the agreement had been violated with impunity.
“The Ekpeye Liberation Group, a forum of ex-militants and freedom agitators from the Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality in Rivers State (Part of the Niger Delta), is utterly disappointed with the conduct of the oil multinational companies operating in the area.
“In the light of their nonchalant, including lukewarm attitude to the massive killings and kidnappings of our people in recent times, the Ekpeye Liberation Group has been forced to issue a notice of eviction to all oil companies operating in Ekpeye territory and its waters.
“They (oil companies) are required to pack out of Ekpeyeland within 14 days, from Thursday 16th of June or face massive vandalisation of their assets. A stitch in time saves nine,” the group said.
Explaining that their attack on oil facilities will further affect the nation’s already limping economy, the ex-fighters warned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to give the people of Ekpeye their due recognition.