Communities in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, have cried out over the refusal of an oil prospecting firm to pay them adequate compensation for environmental degradation.
The communities affected by the activities of the firm are Olubakagbene 1, Olubakagbene 2, Ibareboteigbene, Tangagbene, Ojorborgbene, Uguregbene, Torusorighagbene, Obeghagbene, Pimougbene, Ebadoughene, Tolosanweigbene and Konuwei/Kunuborgbene.
The residents from ten communities said the oil firm deceived them when they claimed they found no oil in their community, vowing not to allow the firm to remove its rigs and other machinery without making any payment for damages to the community land.
In a statement issued to journalists in Akure, Ondo state, and signed by the community elders, they alleged that several protests carried out for compensation were ignored. The statement said the firm had completed its project and claimed that they found no oil deposits in the affected communities.
“This company, Enixco Ultimate Venture came to the communities without having an agreement with anybody and when the communities involved met with them, they pleaded for their wrongs and promises that Coinoil will do all that we ask for.
“A lot of damage was done to the communities farmland and facilities. The only government primary school at Olubakagbene was affected and no reasonable compensation was given to these communities on these damages.
“We embarked on several peaceful protests but they remained adamant to meet our demands even after the Delta State Government told them to do the needful.
” This ongoing peaceful protest will not stop until all our demands are met. We appealed to the Nigerian Army to call its personnel attached to these companies to order.
They lamented that “We were being threatened in our own land. Nobody can take away what belongs to us in our father’s lands.”