Community Denies Planning to Blow Oil Installation


Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The people of Kolokolo in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) Saturday denied planning to blow pipelines belonging to Sahara Energy Resource Limited for depriving them of their rights.

Contrary to the claims of the oil firm, the people also said no worker of the oil company was abducted as their protest against Sahara Energy Resources Limited entered the seventh day.

The President-General of Kolokolo Youth Council Mr. Sunny Etchie made the clarification while addressing the protesters yesterday, saying there were attempts to sabotage the protests by some people.

Etchie explained that the people of Kolokolo “have no plan to blow pipelines belonging to Sahara Energy Resource Limited, even though we have been protesting against ill-treatment by the oil firm.”

The youth leader said the indigenes set up a camp at the entrance of the company last Sunday from where they were cooking and sleeping while awaiting the intervention of the federal and state governments.

He said the indigenes “will not leave the creeks where the oil firm operates until our demands were met. We are on peaceful protest since seven days ago. This is the seventh day. We sleep here, eat here and cook here until Sahara answers us.”
A leader in the community, Mr. Benson Ayokotse narrated how the community’s leaders were invited by the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army 19 Battalion in Koko alongside officials of the oil firm for a meeting.

He said officials of the oil firm “were absent at the meeting. After three hours, the intelligence officer called on Sahara and they refused to come. The Commanding Officer later asked us to go back until Sahara is ready.

Ayokotse said his community “will not relent until Sahara listens and considers its plight. We are not fighting any of our host communities. We are fighting Sahara Energy Resource Limited.

“The oil has been exploiting our God-given resources to punish us, deprive our children from going to school,” he said.