09 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Benin – Elders and youths of Ikara community in Ikpoba Okhai Local Government Area of Edo State, Tuesday, disrupted activities at Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, oil flow station in the area over alleged neglect by the company.
The protest, which commenced 7am, lasted till 9am, crippling activities at the company, and forcing one Mr. Isibor in the Public Affairs Department of the company to assure the protesters that the management would be ready to commence dialogue with them today (Wednesday).
NPDC is the exploration and production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Leaders of the protest were Philip Atsedagho, John Daibo, Samson Oghemi, Ann Ogbemi and Osanime Mebaghandum. Spokesman of the Itsekiri community, Chief John Eyejamuro, lamented that the company had failed to fulfil its social responsibilities to the community despite the effects of gas flaring and oil spillage on the people.
He said: “Unlike other neighouring communities, our community has been very backward. We have no roads, we no longer have fish because the water had been polluted. The ponds are all polluted and it is affecting our health but the company, which has been operating here since the late 1980s, has not done anything to ameliorate the problems of our people.
“So we decided to embark on this peaceful protest to register our grievances. A representative of the company came to address us and promised that the company had agreed to dialogue with us and the meeting was scheduled for today. If our demands are met, there will be peace but if not, then there won’t be any peace.”