Firm, Community Bicker Over Oil Exploration


The people of Oghora in Abua/Odual Local Government Area in Rivers State have raised alarm over plans by an oil firm to eliminate the people to enable them operate freely in the community.
Following the plans and constant harassment by the firm, Oghora community called on the Rivers State Government and the state House of Assembly to come to their aid over planned annihilation by Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy.
The Paramount ruler of Oghora, Chief Akot Joe, who raised the alarm at the weekend alleged that the oil exploration and energy firm has finalised plans to forcible commence exploration of oil in their community without challenge.
Joe further alleged that the firm wants to use the style used in the Ogoni pogrom of the 1980s and 1990s to clear the community.
The monarch alleged that the company employed military action to force itself into the only farming and fishing land owned by the Oghora people without conducting any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) nor entering any MoU with the community.
According to him: “When Oghora women, children and youth staged a peaceful protest to the company site ,one retired Navy Captain Osia gave a ‘shoot at sight order’ to hired military personnel who shot indiscriminately at the peaceful protesters, leaving pregnant women, children and youths seriously wounded in the pandemonium that ensued’’.
“Captain Osia (rtd), the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Sterling Oil Company even had to threaten me’’.
Chief Joe said, Captain Osia had threatened to wreck more violence on the peace loving people hence, we called on the state government to intervene to avoid bloodshed.
Efforts to contact the company failed as our correspondent was not allowed in and could not contact the Public Affairs Department of the firm.