The people of Emu-Ebendo in Ndokwa West Local Government have appealed to the state government and other relevant authorities to prevail on Energia Limited, a drilling firm, operating in the communities to urgently implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the community and the oil firm some years back.

The community made the appeal  during a peaceful protest staged at the premises of Energia to draw government attention to the plight.

According to our correspondent, as early as 7a.m, the main entrance into the premises of Energia Limited, operator of OML 56 have been barricaded by the protesting members of the Emu-Ebendo community who were mainly youths and women.

The youths and women drawn from the 6 super families that make up the community carried placards with different inscriptions directing the oil firm to meet up with the terms of agreement.

Speaking on behalf of the Council of Elders, the President-General of the community, Elder Emmanuel Osonokwu Okparah, claimed that despite the huge amount of oil drilled by the firm from the community, nothing much has been done by the firm to reprove the living standard of the people.

He explained that the protest became necessary following the refusal of the oil firm to listen to their legitimate demands.

Elder Okparah called the state government and the commissioner of oil & gas to direct the firm to relocate to headquarters from Lagos to the community since all efforts to reach the General Manager has not yielded any result.

The Vice-President of the community, Mr. Onyenolua Joseph and the national Speaker of the Community Development Association, Mr. Eni Augustine who led the peaceful protest described Emu-Ebendo as peace-loving and wondered why Energia has decided to deny their host community its legitimate demands.

They called on the state government to prevail on the oil firm to meet the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding by engaging the services of the community youths and award contracts to indigenous contractor based on the local content law.

The Youth President of the Emu-Ebendo, Mr. Uba Ijeoma and the Women President of the community, Madam Alice Ezeugbor urged the company to pay all its outstanding debt and employ more youths according to the MoU.

They appealed to relevant authorities to prevail on the firm to live up to its expectation.

When contacted, the Community Relations Officer of Energia Oil Services Company, Mr. Hakeem Akintoye said some violent youths from Emu-Ebendo Community stormed the company’s premises, shut down their operations and beat up several workers on site.

He said the injured workers have been taken to hospital and the matter has been reported to law enforcement agents.