Members of the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), on Monday, September 27, staged a peaceful protest to the Headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, following the expiration of an agreement signed to commence training.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, chanted solidarity songs to press home their demands.
Despite the presence of stern-looking security men, the protesters barricaded the main entrance to the Content Tower, preventing visitors and staff of the board from entering and exiting and also disrupting vehicular movement along the Ox-bow Lake Road.
Speaking to our correspondent, Ebiegberi Trust, HOSTCOM Local Government Coordinator for Brass Local Government Area, said they decided to carry out the protest, due to the failure of the NCDMB to keep to its part of an existing agreement.
Also, Ms. Tena Joy-Diekide, HOSTCOM Local Government Coordinator for Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said they are protesting because NCDMB has not given them any date for the commencement of their training.
According to her no date or venue has been communicated to them for the training but rather officials of the NCDMB keeps making excuses they termed flimsy.
The situation later degenerated to a fracas as hoodlums allegedly sent by a top politician in the state attacked the protesters which led security men to fire teargas canisters to disperse the protesters.
A woman was reported to have been injured during the pandemonium while another protester passed out after inhaling the teargas but was quickly attended to and revived.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of the board was not successful before this report was filed.