Chevron rig explosion: Bayelsa youth threaten resumption of protests

There have been allegations of environmental and human rights abuses against multinationals in the

Koluama communities, hosts to Chevron’s operations in Southern Ijaw Local government Area, Bayelsa have threatened to resume agitations for compensation for the 2012 rig explosion in Chevron’s field.

Hundreds of youths from Koluama on September 15 boarded the North Apoi oil platform operated by Chevron over nonpayment of compensation for the rig blowout and vacated the facility after officials of the oil firm opted for dialogue.

The January 2012 explosion sparked off a fire incident which burnt at the oil rig for over 50 days before it was put out.

Leghemo Ebrasin, Secretary, Koluama 2, Youths Association in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa said on Monday that the youths were dissatisfied by the stance of Chevron on the incident.

He said that Chevron remained insensitive to the plight of the communities whose ancestral land was threatened by ocean surge in June 2014 following the 2012 incident.

He regretted that the dialogue promised by Chevron had not yielded any fruit. He said no fewer than 500 youths will resume peaceful agitation if the company fails to pay compensation by October 15.

“Chevron must pay compensation for the KS Endeavour gas disaster before 15th day of October 2014.

“Otherwise we shall organize another massive protest at all Chevron fields in our environment including Agbami oilfield producing about 250,000 barrels per day of crude equivalent.

“Payment of all community workers at the field when the incident occurred, establish an employment Memorandum of Understanding with Koluama communities.

“Building of delayed gas pant in Koluama. And payment of 13% Chevron and Texaco merger bonus as applicable in the industry worldwide, we urge Chevron to comply,” Mr. Ebrasin said

Deji Haastrup, Chevron’s General Manager in charge of Communications Policy, Government and Public Affairs, said it remained committed to dialogue in resolving conflicts.

“Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), confirms that on Monday September 15, 2014, some youths claiming to be from communities neighboring our operations in Bayelsa, who illegally boarded our North Apoi platform off the coast of Nigeria have vacated the facility peacefully.

“ No one on the platform was harmed and there was no damage to the facilities.

“CNL continues to advocate respect for the Rule of Law and the use of constructive dialogue in the resolution of all issues,” Mr. Haastrup stated.

However, when contacted for comments on the claims of Koluama Youths on the failed dialogue with Chevron, Adesola Adebawo, Chevron’s Manager in charge of Communications Policy, Government and Public Affairs, declined comments.


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