The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Bayelsa State Command, has reopened an oil well belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company shut by the people of Ogboinbiri community in Southern Ijaw area of the state.
It was learnt that the community blocked the wellhead following a disagreement it had with the multinational oil firm that operates in the area.
The community reportedly accused the oil firm of alleged failure to honour a Memorandum of Understanding it entered with Ogboinbiri people.
A community source, who did not want to be named, said members of the community, who waited in vain for the implementation of the MoU, lost their patience on September 21, 2016, and decided to block the wellhead.
He said the decision, which was taken by the Community Development Committee, led by Mr. Okosughe Benson, was leaked to operatives of the NSCDC who were patrolling oil facilities in the area.
The source said, “Suddenly, the CDC chairman got a telephone call from the NSCDC state Commandant, Mr. Desmond Agu, who engaged the committee and told them to suspend their action.
“Agu explained the implications of shutting down an oil well and advised them to embrace dialogue. He promised to intervene to resolve the lingering dispute between the community and the oil firm.”
But the community source said some youths had sneaked into the creeks at night and shut down the wellhead on September 24.
He, however, noted, “The NSCDC was surprised to discover that the wellhead was no longer pumping. On inquiry, the CDC chairman admitted that some youths who were not aware of the discussion he had with the commandant went to shut down the oil well.
“The community had a meeting which had the traditional ruler and the chiefs in attendance. Agu spoke to them during the meeting and asked them to stop tampering with national assets. He assured them that the problem would be resolved in no distant time.”
When contacted, Agu was said to be in a meeting. However, a senior NSCDC officer in the command, confirmed the development.
The officer, who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the development, said the commandant (Agu) had fixed a stakeholders’ meeting for Tuesday to resolve the crisis.
He said Agu would mediate in the dispute, adding that the commandant had warned communities against sabotaging the economy.Punch