14 September 2011
THE fragile peace in Niger Delta was rattled last week by three occurrences that spoke volumes as the volatile region witnessed a harvest of protests.
The most threatening was when traffic on Mbiama area of the
Patani-Port Harcourt Road
, a section of the
was brought to a standstill for over five hours on Tuesday as thousands of ex-militants barricaded the area to protest against their exclusion from the post amnesty programme. Chanting solidarity songs, they ensured there was no vehicular movement, threatening to deal with motorists and pedestrians who dared them.
The protesters began their demonstration at about 5am blocking access to
Port Harcourt ( ), Warri (Delta) and Yenagoa (Bayelsa) till about 10am. The security agencies, obviously rattled, deployed petrol vans, helicopters and armoured tanks to the scene of the protest. Rivers State
The same day, hundreds of Ijaw women from
Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West council of , disrupted a multi-billion naira gas pipeline project in the creeks for several hours. As early as 8am, the angry protesters took over the gas pipeline being laid across Chanomi Creeks by a contracting company working for Chevron, to press home their demands for the provision of potable water and regular electricity supply. The protesters accused the Federal Government and major oil companies doing business in the area, of marginalization, that the communities were still drinking impure water from river and had never been connected to any source of power supply. Delta State
Later in the week, a group protested at Udu, near Warri. Their grouse included marginalisation by the
government, alleging that for all the years that oil has been drilled from their land, they had nothing to show as an oil producing community. Delta State