Tension as Protesting Youths Lay Siege to Conoil Platform in Delta

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By Sylvester Idowu

Palpable tension yesterday enveloped Obodo community in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, as hundreds of protesting youths laid siege on Conoil oilfield in the area over alleged neglect by the oil company.

THISDAY learnt that the quick intervention of security men stationed at the company prevented the oilfield from being shut down by the angry youths.

It was learnt that the youths from seven host communities under the Auspices of OML 150 Consultative Forum, established for easy management of relationship with the oil company, were angry over non recognition of the leadership put in place since January 8, 2021, in spite of letters written by the Olu of Warri palace as well as that of Delta State Government to Conoil Producing Limited.

Some of the placards carried by the youths read: ‘We want recognition of Monday Agbeyi-led Executive’; ‘Conoil is dividing our leaders to cheat us’; ‘Conoil is denying us of our rights’; ‘We will shut down Conoil operations soon’, among others.

Chairman of OML 150 Communities Consultative Forum, Monday Agbeyi, who led the protesters, told journalists that Conoil should vacate the area for allegedly disrespecting constituted authorities in the state.

He said: “Today marks the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum given to Conoil Producing Limited to respect the proclamations made by the seven landlord communities, the palace of Olu of Warri and the Delta State Government to recognise and commence dealings with the Agbeyi-led executive of OML 150 Communities Consultative forum or should vacate our land.

“The seven landlord communities namely: Ifiekporo, Uwakeno, Omadino, Ewekwara, Jaluwa Efueye, Aka Osolo and Obodo are saying, with this protest, we are tired of the disrespectful disposition of Conoil Producing Limited for constituted authorities, and of course left with no other option than to issue quit notice to the company.”

Explaining further, Agbeyi maintained that they had no other issues with the oil company other than to respect the positions of the people, Olu of Warri Palace and the Delta State Government, and deal with the new executive, or quit operations on their
land.