Youths from the Obunagha Community of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State shut down the multi-billion dollar Gbarain-Ubie Gas Gathering Facilities belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Tuesday. The youths were frustrated over the arrest of the Paramount Ruler of the Community, Chief Godgive Apoh by men of the Department of State Security (DSS).
The protesting youths accused the SPDC of neglecting their Corporate Social Responsibility on the provision of employment to local youth, and the construction of basic amenities such as clean water, medical facilities, as well as the arrest of the Paramount Ruler by the Nigerian government. Another grievance was the desecration of the Royal Stool over a joke which was taken too far, youth demonstrators say.
The protesting youths started the peaceful blockage of the Gas Facility at 6.30am by gathering together and chanting war songs against the SPDC.
It was observed that while the protesters blocked the entrance into the facility, and stopped the over 300 workers of the company from gaining entrance, the combined team of the Nigerian Police and men of the Joint Military Task Force, code named Operation Restore Hope, were keeping vigilance at the scene.
One of the youth leaders, Reji Akari, told SaharaReporters that the action by the angered youths was provoked by the refusal of the SPDC to honor agreements reached on employment and the provision of basic amenities, “the SPDC has failed our people on the agreed issues of employment, scholarship, water and health facility.”
As at the time of filing this report, the representatives of the protesting youths, the community leadership and the security agencies were in a meeting trying to resolve the crisis.