A Niger Delta militant group in Akwa Ibom State, under the aegis of Unyekisong Akwa Ibom, has ordered all multinational oil companies operating in the state to leave the territory with immediate effect.
This is contained in statement by the leader and deputy leader of the group, Gen. Dede Udofia and Maj. Ibanga Ekang issued on Sunday, March 21.
According to the group, the notice became necessary following the unwholesome atrocities perpetrated by multinational oil companies on oil producing communities.
The militants expressed disappointment over the state government’s response to the cries of residents of the host communities, whose sources of livelihood, property, and lives had been completely destroyed by the activities of the oil firms.
According to Guardian reports, the group gave the quit notice to oil firms that have rebuffed implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Nigerian Local Content Law in their employment and contract policies, ordering them to relocate their operational base from the state.
It was however, gathered that two companies, ExxonMobil and Savannah Petroleum were spared the quit notice.
The statement read in part:
“It is sad to note that since Addax, Moni Pulo, Chevron, Century, Oriental Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Total E & P, SEEPCO, AFREN and AMNI, among others, commenced operations in Akwa Ibom territorial waters, they have enjoyed relative peace without any hostilities compared to other oil communities in the Niger Delta region.
“But our people have not derived any substantial benefits from these oil companies, their subsidiaries, and partners. Rather, we have been subjected to unwholesome deprivations and marginalisation.
“The suffering, hopelessness, degradation, and poverty that the oil-producing communities in Akwa Ibom State have been subjected to as a result of their industrial activities since they commenced operations are indeed painful and regrettable.”
The group also expressed its displeasure at the companies’ insensitivity to underdevelopment and degrading living standards of the oil producing communities due to their many years of oil exploration and exploitation with the attendant environmental hazards, reports the Guardian..
“As the economic nerve-centre and highest contributor to the annual earnings of the country, we in Akwa Ibom State are shocked and disappointed at the passive response of the state government to the cries and yearnings of the suffering masses in communities whose sources of livelihood, property and lives have been completely destroyed as a result of the operations of the firms,” they said.
Unyekisong Akwa Ibom is a coalition of freedom fighters in the state comprising former members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Movement for the Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic, Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, Niger Delta Avengers, Niger Delta Liberation Force, Niger Delta Movement for Justice and Niger Delta Warriors.