Niger Delta agitators under the aegis of UNYEKISONG Akwa Ibom have asked all multinational oil companies to vacate the state due to what they described as ‘unwholesome practices and atrocities.’
The group gave the vacation order in a statement issued by its leader and deputy, ‘General’ Dede Udofia and ‘Major’ Ibanga Ekang in Uyo at the weekend.
They said the vacation notice became necessary due to atrocities being perpetrated by multinational oil companies on oil-producing communities.
Unyekisong Akwa Ibom is a coalition of freedom fighters in the state comprising former members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Movement for the Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic, Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, Niger Delta Avengers, Niger Delta Liberation Force, Niger Delta Movement for Justice and Niger Delta Warriors.
The group expressed disappointment over what it described as passive response of the state government to the constant cries and yearnings of the suffering masses from the communities whose sources of livelihood, property and lives had been completely destroyed by the activities of the oil firms.
“Apart from ExxonMobil & Savannah Petroleum, oil firms that have refused to locate their operational base in the state and their refusal to implement their corporate social responsibility (CSR), the Nigerian Local Content Law in their employment and contract policies, are hereby advised to vacate Akwa Ibom State with immediate effect.
“It is sad to note that since Addax, Moni Pulo, Chevron, Century, Oriental Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Total E & P, SEEPCO, AFREN and AMNI, among others commenced operations in Akwa Ibom territorial waters, they have enjoyed relative peace without any hostilities compared to other oil communities in the Niger Delta region.
“But our people have not derived any substantial benefits from these oil companies, their subsidiaries and partners. Rather, we have been subjected to unwholesome deprivations and marginalisation.
“The suffering, hopelessness, degradation and poverty that the oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom State have been subjected to as a result of their industrial activities since they commenced operations is indeed painful and regrettable,” the statement added.
The group also expressed its displeasure at the companies’ insensitivity to underdevelopment and degrading living standards of the oil producing communities due to their many years of oil exploration and exploitation with the attendant environmental hazards.
“As the economic nerve-centre and highest contributor to the annual earnings of the country, we in Akwa Ibom State are shocked and disappointed at the passive response of the state government to the cries and yearnings of the suffering masses in communities whose sources of livelihood, property and lives have been completely destroyed as a result of the operations of the firms,” they said.