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Akwa Ibom community threatens closure of oil firms over alleged marginalisation


Residents of Oron, one of the oil-producing local councils in Akwa Ibom, yesterday took to the major streets of the town to protest against alleged marginalisation of the area by the state government and the multinational oil firms operating in their locality.

The protesters, mainly youths, men and women, were drawn from the five council areas of Mbo, Okobo, Udung Uko, Urue Offong-Oruko and Oron, halted economic activities as the commercial town was locked down with vehicular movement obstructed for the over three hours that the peaceful protest lasted. No fewer than 10 security vehicles were deployed by police to check possible breakdown of law and order.

The protesters, who were dressed in black, drummed and sang different songs with placards and banners bearing inscriptions such as, “Is oil thicker than blood? Oro youth say no to continued marginalisation’’; ‘’So much evil done to us. The goose that lays the golden egg’’; Exxon Mobil and others must recognise Oro or leave’’; ‘’Enough is enough’’, Akwa Ibom Government is a threat to peace’’, among others.


Various speakers, including Omen Bassey; Patryk Edeke; Victor Mkpofor; Christian Nyong and Francis Otioro, all lamented the alleged marginalisation of the area despite the fact that it had produced the highest oil quantum from the state to the national purse.

Convener of the protest under the auspices of Oro Youth Congress, Lovestic Eyo, a lawyer, in a seven-point communiqué, called on the federal and state governments as well as the oil companies to implement the resolutions by the National Assembly and the National Executive Council without further delay to engender peace and give the communities a sense of belonging.

The statement claimed that the state government had over the years ignored the “tripod arrangement as proposed by our forefathers during the creation of the state which has led to the absolute marginalisation and neglect of Oro people for obvious and unknown reasons.”


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