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Sunday 21 March 2021

Vacate Akwa Ibom Immediately, Militants Warn Oil Companies

 Unyekisong, the umbrella body of Akwa Ibom Militants on Sunday asked all the oil companies operating in the state to vacate the state for failing in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The group in a statement by its leaders, General Dede Udofia and Major Ibanga Ekang, expressed shock and displeasure over the passive response of the state government to the constant cries and yearnings of the masses in the oil communities.

The group however exempted ExxonMobil and Savannah Petroleum, from the quit notice.

The group advised the affected oil companies to immediately evacuate all their workers from their operational bases and rigs, both onshore and offshore within the territorial waters of the state to avoid casualties and damages.

"As a result of the refusal of the oil firms operating in the territorial waters of Akwa Ibom State, apart from ExxonMobil & Savannah Petroleum, to locate their operational bases in the state.

"Their refusal to implement their Corporate Social Responsibility as well as the provisions of the Nigerian Local Content Law in their employment and contract policies, we hereby advise them and their subsidiaries/partners to vacate Akwa Ibom State with immediate effect.

"It is very sad to observe that since the commencement of operations by Addax, Moni Pulo, Chevron, Century, Oriental Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Total E & P, SEEPCO, AFREN, AMNI, etc., and their subsidiaries/partners in the various oil fields in Akwa Ibom territorial waters, they have enjoyed relative peace without any hostilities to their projects compared to other oil communities in the Niger Delta region.

"But our people have not derived any substantial benefits from these oil companies, rather we have been subjected to unwholesome deprivations and marginalisation. 

"It is also indeed very painful and regrettable to witness the high level of suffering, hopelessness, degradation and poverty that the people of the oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom State have been subjected to as a result of the industrial activities of the various oil firms since their commencement of operations.

"We also express our utmost displeasure at the companies’ insensitivity to underdevelopment and degrading living standards of the people in the oil producing communities, due to their many years of oil exploration and exploitation in the area with the attendant environmental hazards. 

"It is no more news that the companies have been drilling several barrels of oil per day from the rigs located in our territorial waters, but do not see the need to provide basic amenities for their immediate host communities and catchment areas who suffer the adverse effects of their drilling operations. 

"Over 90 percent of their employees are from outside the communities/state, and the companies intentionally refuse to do business with indigenous contractors/suppliers," the statement read.

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