Obile Ohaji indigenes in Imo protest neglect by oil company, demand social amenities, employment

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In registering their grievances over what they described as long neglect of their community, the Indigenes of Obile Autonomous Community in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State had staged a protest, accusing Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited of sheer neglect.

They lamented that since Seplat started oil operation at Adapalm Plantation, Ohaji, it has never recognized them in terms of social amenities such as road, electricity, pipe borne water, hospital, youth and women employment, regretting that their community is underdeveloped, youths wallowing in the streets due largely to lack of jobs and other social services.

The people, mostly youths under the aegis of Concerned Youths of Ohaji People’s Forum, CYOPF, led by its President, Victor Kelvin Amadi, urged Seplat to do the needful and stop neglecting and shortchanging the host community maintaining that they cannot rest until their demands are squarely and timely met.

Amadi hinted that Obile autonomous community owns 80% of land in Adapalm Plantation where Seplat has been operating, lamenting that the agrarian people of the area and its entire environs are finding life difficult given to the oil spillage which he remarked is posing serious environmental hazards to their land and rendering the soil unproductive.

“We, the people of Obile Autonomous Community are here to protest against sheer neglect by Seplat. It has not done anything for us since it started excavating oil on our land. Obile owns 80% of land in Adapalm Plantation and yet none of our youth is given a job, nor is any woman being financially empowered.

”Seplat is operating in our land without our notice. We want to know why. What wrong did we commit that warrants them to neglect us, cheat us, shortchange us, and allow our community to remain underdeveloped? Their anti-human behaviour is responsible for causing and promoting crime, and insecurity in our area. They are forcing Us to be restive in demanding our rights, “he lamented.

The President said for some time, the youths have been peaceful and law-abiding, trying their best not to be involved in oil bunkery and other criminal activities.

He expressed worry that the attitude of the company is capable of provoking the Youths to restiveness, stating that the company should do the needful.

“Employ our people, install solid infrastructures, give scholarships to our students to study home and overseas, pay us bursary monthly” Amadi demanded.

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