Uruan Youths, Moni Pulo Oil Firm At War …Over Alleged Neglect Of Community


The people of Adadia community in Uruan local government area of Akwa Ibom State on Thursday staged a protest at the premises of an oil drilling company operating in the area, Moni Pulo Petroleum Company over alleged refusal by the company to sign a memorandum of understanding, MOU with its host community after carrying out exploration activities in the village for about 8 years now.
Carrying placards with various inscription, the aggrieved villagers including youths and aged women, called on both the federal government and Akwa Ibom State government to wade into the matter to prevent a breakdown of law and order in Uruan. They pleaded the oil company to heed to their cry and do the needful in order to give them a sense of belonging as an oil bearing community.
Addressing news men, the Youth Leader, Rev. Barr. Favour Okokon accused Mani Pulo Oil company of flouting the local content policy and CSR as approved by the NNPC, NAPIMS, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR. Okokon said the the refusal of the company’s management to present a report of Environment Impact, EIA to the host community before commencing operation was capable of causing a breach of the peace in the area.
He wondered why the company which is currently operating a marginal oil field in Akwa Ibom State, titled OPL 231 has not found it necessary to meet with the Village Council youths of Adadia, and even the Uruan local government council despite several entreaties to the company on the need to meet with them.
“According to the Cleric and lawyer, “Moni Pulo has not met up with its Corporate Social Responsibility as required by NNPC, NAPIMS and DPR. We are peace loving people and law abiding. We want to see the EIA report. Youths of the area are not carried along in the meetings and activities of the company. Can you imagine the oil company claims that Uruan does not have oil, and that our oil Wells are not in commercial quantity, but where as 24 oil Wells have been corked by the company, and they are about deploying their drilling rig into the community to drill the oil. We want the company to employ our youths”.
Barr. Okokon accused the company of deploying what he termed ‘divide and rule tactics’ in its dealings with the host community, and vowed to resist such antics.
Another member of the community, Mr. George Bassey said “This company is creating a lot of problem for us. The same problem they are creating in Mbo where they are also drilling oil”.
“between 2013 and 2014, SINOPEC was contracted by Moni Pulo to carry out seismic survey and it was discovered that there are additional 24 oil wells here in Adadia. As i speak, the oil company is planning to deploy their oil rig into the community, but they have not even found it necessary to meet with the host community. They have not employed our people in the company, but have gone outside to recruit people to work for them”.
He disclosed that they have written several letters to the Council Chairman and have made spirited efforts to meet with the company’s management but to no avail. Also reacting, A Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army from the area, Lt. Okon Etim Edet regretted that the poor community relations approach adopted by the oil company towards its Adadia host community was the worst form of oppression that could be meted to them, saying “What Moni Pulo is doing to us in Adadia is not what they are doing in Rivers State where they also operate”.
On his part the Village head of Adadia, Etteidung Okon Etim Eka Eba, while fielding questions from this reporter at his palace, said his people would only welcome the oil company into the community “as far as they do the right thing”. Speaking on behalf of Adadia Village council, Etteidung Okon lambasted the oil firm over its poor community relations with the host community.
The protesting youths were attended to by the army officers providing water tight security at the company’s facility as there was no management staff at the facility during the protest.
After listening to their grievances which were tabled by Barr. Okokon, the army officer who did not disclose his name, commended the villagers for conducting themselves peacefully, and promised to convey their demands to appropriate quarters.



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