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Angry Bayelsa youths shut down 30,000 bpd Conoil facility – VELOXNEWS


From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

 

Tension on Friday gripped Koluama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area following the invasion and forceful shutdown of the 30,000 barrels per day Ango 2 field oil facility owned by Conoil by angry youths of the community.

The youths were said to have been irked by the refusal of the oil company to implement the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with the host communities.

 

According to investigation, the security personnel guarding the facility were caught unawares as aggrieved indigenes, including women, youths, and elders, invaded the platform with placards with inscription such as “No MoU, No Crude oil exploration”, Conoil pack, and go, we are tired of suffering” and “Koluama people are suffering”, demanding the shutdown of operations at the facility.

 

Sources said the Koluama Oil and Gas Committee backed the decision to invade and shut down the oil facility since the oil multinational has failed in the implementation of its social obligations contained in the MoU.

The Chairman Koluama Clan Oil and Gas Committee, Chief Jonathan Amabebe, who spoke on the development listed some of the demands of the to include, clean-up of oil spill sites in the various communities and carrying out of medical outreach to communities affected by oil spill.

 

According to Amabebe, others are the issuance of employment letter to one of the community’s qualified indigenes, who was successful in Conoil’s last employment exercise in 2015 and award of contract across the five host communities, in Koluama Clan, namely, Tamazo, Koluama 1, Koluama 2, Olobia and Kalaweiama, embedded in the MoU amongst others.

 

The Technical Assistant to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Oil and Gas, Prince Tare Ekubo,​ ​ said that despite several warnings from the community, intervention by government, meetings and letters sent to Conoil, to ensure that the relationship by both parties does not deteriorate the oil company has refused to implement decisions reached prompting the steps taken by the community.

 

Ekubo however expressed optimism that the Bayelsa State Government will engage both parties to resolve the lingering issues once and for all.

 

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