Bayelsa Oil Field Shutdown: Youths Protest SEEPCO OPL Project

Mobel
By Mobel 3 Min Read

Bayelsa Oil Project Halted: Ijaw Youths Protest SEEPCO’s Non-Compliance with Regulations

Highlights:

  • Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Onuebum community members barricade OPL 2005 oil well project
  • Protesters demand Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and compliance with local, state, and federal laws
  • Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) accused of disregarding government directives

Youths from the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Onuebum community in Bayelsa State’s Ogbia Local Government Area staged a protest on Tuesday, effectively shutting down operations at an oil well project in OPL 2005.

Key Issues:

  1. Environmental Concerns: Protesters demand SEEPCO conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  2. Legal Compliance: Accusations of non-compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
  3. Community Relations: Alleged disregard for host community negotiations and local authority

Over 100 demonstrators arrived at the project’s dredging site around 9:30 am, led by John Bailiff Egapekpar and Engr. Ebitimi Egbenpere of the Onuebum Oil and Gas Task Force.

Protest Details:

  • Demonstrators chanted Ijaw songs and displayed placards
  • Key demands included compliance with EIA Act and Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)

IYC Chairman of Ayama Clan, Comrade Samson Insurance Lucky, stated, “We call on the company to resume discussions with the community and respect the relevant laws.”

Community Leadership Response:

Onuebum’s traditional leaders, including Paramount Ruler HRH Obanema Kine Kobolota Osain (Ogo XVI) and Deputy High Chief John Alpheus Edede (Opalama XIII), urged the State Government to intervene.

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The Paramount Ruler emphasized, “What we are asking is for the company to conduct EIA and respect existing laws. Instead of complying, they embarked on divisive tactics.”

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This protest highlights ongoing tensions between oil companies and local communities in the Niger Delta region, emphasizing the need for improved dialogue and regulatory compliance in the Nigerian oil industry.

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