“I am a graduate for about eight years without a job,” said Anthony Bouye, one of the protest leaders. “Shell won’t employ me despite us having so much wealth in our backyard.” as protesters stormed a crude oil flow station owned by Shell in Nigeria’s Niger Delta on Friday demanding jobs, infrastructure development and an end to oil pollution.
The protesters complained they were not benefiting from oil production in their area, a common refrain in the impoverished swampland that produces most of Nigeria’s oil. They also demanded an end to oil pollution in the area.
Soldiers and security guards did not disperse the crowd as it entered the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State, which feeds oil into Shell’s Bonny export terminal. But the army sent reinforcements after protesters said they would stay at the facility for two weeks.
Shell had no immediate comment. It was not immediately clear whether there was any impact on oil production.
While Bonny Light crude oil is currently under force majeure due to the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline, exports have continued using a second pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Link.
Militant attacks on oil facilities have largely stopped since the government started last year talks with community leaders to address grievances of poverty and lack of development in the neglected region.
Protesters at the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State which feeds oil into Shell Bonny export terminal.jpg
But protests still flare as locals complain they do not benefit from the energy wealth, the dominant source of Nigerian government revenue.
Oil exports were scheduled to hit a 17-month high in August, but fell back under 2 million barrels per day (bpd) after Shell declared force majeure on Bonny light.
Nigerian oil production fell to just over 1 million bpd at certain points last year but has recovered thanks to a steady decline in the number of attacks on pipelines.
Meanwhile, a coalition of Niger Delta agitators has told northerners and Yorubas residing in the Niger Delta to vacate the region before October 1
AGAIN: Leave Niger Delta By Oct 1 – Niger Delta Coalition Warn Northerners, Yoruba
A coalition of eight militant groups in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, yesterday announced a plan to restart its attacks on oil facilities Sept 10 marking the beginning of an official separation from Nigeria in the lead up to October 1st when it said it would declare the Niger Delta Republic.
In a statement made available to reporters and signed by Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Warriors, and Niger Delta Peoples Fighters among others, the militant coalition also asks Nigerians from the northern and southwestern areas of the country who are living in the delta to leave before October 1st, while all oil companies active in the delta and the nationalized Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) must relocate their headquarters to the delta, according to the demands. They also demanded that Abuja stop working with the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.
Part of the statement read:
“At the general council meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) involving surveillance department, intelligence department and commanding officers held today to deliberate on the recent development in the Niger Delta and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with the Acting President, after hours of careful deliberations, we unanimously resolved to commence Operation Zero Oil in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017 as a preparation for the actualization of Niger Delta Republic,”