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Youths Protest, Call For Immediate Sacking Of ‘Racist’ Seplat MD Whose Work, Residence Permits Were Revoked By Nigerian Government

March 22, 2023

The protesters accused them of promoting racism, bullying and intimidation of staff members.

Some youths of Sapele community, which hosts Seplat Energy in the Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, have embarked on a peaceful protest to call for the immediate removal of the chairman, Board of Directors, Seplat Energy PLC, Basil Omiyi and other board members.

The protesters accused them of promoting racism, bullying and intimidation of staff members.

They also knocked them for refusing to sack Roger Brown, the embattled Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy.


A Nigerian court had restrained Brown from parading himself as the firm's CEO pending the determination of a suit filed against him and others by aggrieved stakeholders of the company.


The protesting youths, who took to the streets and premises of Seplat on Wednesday, accused Omiyi of conspiring with the board members of Seplat to frustrate the removal of Brown.

The protesters chanted solidarity songs and displayed placards with inscriptions such as: "Our Collective Effort is Simple, The MD SePlat Must Go," "The MD Has Sown a Seed of Discord Among the People, This is An Abomination," "Seplat Board and Roger, Stop All the Lies," "Stop Bullying Our Community Staff, " Respect Our Community Leaders," among others.

They lamented that even though the interior ministry had withdrawn Brown's work permit, Omiyi has refused to let him go.

One of the aggrieved youths said, "Our attention has been drawn to the good decision of the Minister of Interior to cancel Mr Roger Brown's work permit.

“Instead of obeying this noble decision of the federal government and looking into the critical issue of racism against Mr. Brown, Mr Omiyi announced a vote of confidence for a racist foreigner, who is a mere employee. Mr Omiyi and his Board should be ashamed of themselves for telling Mr Roger Brown to continue working without a work permit. They should obey court order."

The youths called for the employment of youths, adding that the bullying of staffers must stop.

They asked the management to bring back the technical department of Seplat from Aberdeen to Nigeria and appealed to the federal government to wade into the plight of the community.

Speaking on behalf of the youths, the youth president of Okpe community, Umukoro Dimbianimofa, said the community had been cooperative with Seplat over the years but regretted that Seplat had continued to neglect the youths of the community.

He said, "Seplat must sack Roger Brown immediately for supporting a racist CEO. Mr Omiyi and the Board must go. “Employ our youths as full staff, not slave contract staff; stop bullying staff; bring back the technical department of Seplat from Aberdeen to Nigeria.”

Dimbianimofa lamented that many youths in the community had become motorcycle riders in order to earn a living for themselves despite having an oil company in their community.

He said, "We are here protesting today because of the marginalisation and intimidation by an oil company in our land, Seplat Energy PLC.

“We want our youths to be employed because unemployment brings backwardness and is a disease. Scholarship from Seplat has been a mirage. There is no employment, there is no empowerment for our youths and women. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other relevant authorities to come to our aid.

"We want peace because without peace no meaningful development could take place anywhere. There are no jobs for the community youths. It is only the outsiders that they are employing in Seplat. There is no scholarship for our children and the suffering in the community is too much. We need the Federal Government to come to our aid.”

All efforts to reach Omiyi for comments were unsuccessful as his mobile phone line could not immediately be reached.