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SACOBSERVER.COM: Protestors Force Shell To Close Plant In Nigeria

SACOBSERVER.COM: Protestors Force Shell To Close Plant In Nigeria

Posted 4 May 2004

(NNPA) – Protesters from a Niger Delta village have forced Shell to close a major oil-pumping facility and have demanded the firm keep its promise to rebuild a road that links their village to the outside world, residents said recently.

More than 200 protesters from Opherin village besieged Shell’s station near Erhiemu recently to protest their poverty despite living in an oil-rich area.

The facility has the capacity to pump 100,000 barrels daily from 24 oil wells. Eyewitnesses said the protest had forced it to shut down.

“We don’t have anything to show for our status as the leading oil-producing community in the delta,” community leader Peter Onovaye told reporters.

The unarmed protesters, including men, women and children, set up camp inside the facility located 25 miles north of Warri, a key operations base for oil companies in the Niger Delta.

Onovaye said the protesters would remain at the facility until Shell gave the community a pledge to rebuild the road, which he described as their only link with the rest of Nigeria and vital for moving agricultural produce out of the village, which is a farming community.

He said the villagers had resorted to protest action after Shell failed to respond favorably to a 90-day ultimatum to repair the road.

This story comes special to the NNPA from IRIN.

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