Thursday, 18 January 2018
Isoko oil kingdom protests against neglect by firm
workers being owed for four months as well as refusal of the firm to sign the global memorandum of understanding with the host community which has expired since April 2017.
The over two thousand members of community protesting peacefully marched to the company’s gate at Olomoro/Oleh flow station, carrying various placards with inscriptions such as ‘No salary No Heritage,’ ‘Heritage is oppressing Olomoro community’ and ‘Olomoro community needs employment.’ They were prevented from entering the company premises by soldiers and mobile policemen. However, the town’s securitymen and vigilantes appealed to the protesters just as community leaders prevailed on the youths to embrace peace.
Speaking to newsmen, Pastor Blessing Agboro, president general of Olomoro community development union, said other reasons for the peaceful protest included Heritage’s refusal to employ and give contracts to its indigenes while people from other tribes are employed and engaged as contractors, refusal to dialogue with the host community, unconditional release of the four workers unlawfully detained and signing of the global MoU or free to operate agreement.
Agboro emphasized that even the traditional ruler of the community was disregarded by the management of Heritage. He said since April 2017 that the company resumed operations, the executive of Olomoro union has offered a hand of fellowship to Heritage severally but it refused, stressing that until the conditions are met, they will not allow the firm to operate.
Henry Edewor, an engineer and vice president of the Olomoro union, while corroborating Agboro, appealed to Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on Heritage to heed the yearnings and demands of Olomoro community.
Mrs. Foto Osiobe, woman leader of Olomoro community, appealed to Heritage to release the four Olomoro indigenes detained unconditionally. She noted that the injustice meted on the people of the community has reached a climax, emphasizing that the women and youths are suffering due to total neglect by Heritage.
However, a Heritage who did not want to be named, said the detention of the people has nothing to do with the company because it was security forces that made the arrest but that government has ordered their release.