Soldiers, on Thursday, allegedly disrupted a protest by members of the Rumuekpe community in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, who were accusing multinational oil companies in their area of neglect.
The community folks, including men, women and youths in their teeming numbers, blocked the entrance of the community on Thursday, demanding the provision of social amenities from the international oil companies operating in their area.
They alleged that for about 60 years, the presence of four multinational oil firms, such as Shell, NDPR, TotalEnergies and Agip in their community, had not translated to social amenities and a good life for them.
But the protest was reportedly halted by heavily-armed soldiers who drove into the area in about six Hilux vans.
The councillor for Ward 8 in Rumuekpe, Bright Green, alleged that the soldiers destroyed the canopies and sound system set up by the protesters.
According to him, about 25 canopies and 2,000 chairs were seized from the protesters.
“Nobody was shot, but they arrested two of the protesters. They arrested Mr. Godknows and Edward Uka. These are the people they forwarded their names and I do not know the reason for the arrest,” the councillor stated.
He, however, maintained that the solution to the agitation was for the oil firms to engage with the communities.
Green stated, “For two weeks now, the community people have been demanding their rights from the IOCs, especially Shell, NDPR, Total and Agip. I have been in the press, urging the multinationals to come down to see the community that is hosting them because they are suffering, they do not have any basic social amenities.”
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Danjuma Jonah, did not answer calls put across to his mobile phone. He had also yet to respond to a text message sent to him.