The Port Harcourt Refinery Company and the Eleme Petrochemical Company, were yesterday picketed by hundreds of Ogoni people who vowed to keep them shut until the Federal Government implements the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on oil devastated Ogoniland.
The protesters, jointly led by the Ogoni Solidarity Forum, OSF, and Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, laid siege that disrupted access and exit to both firms and worsened traffic congested in the Eleme axis of Port Harcourt.
President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, said they chose December 10, set aside as Human Rights Day, to embark on the protest.
“We are here today, in commemoration of the Human Rights Day, and Ogoni people are using this day to express their disapproval of Federal Government’s inaction in the implementation of the UNEP report. So, we are doing the activity as part of global a process,” Pyagbara said.
Project Officer, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni people, MOSOP, Fyneface Dumnamene also said: “The youths will sleep at the gates of both companies tonight. We are not afraid of anybody. The lives of Ogoni people are more valuable than the money Federal Government is making from the refineries.
“By tomorrow, there will be no access for anybody because the protest will be extended to other companies in Ogoniland, including the fertiliser company. So, they should get ready.”
Also speaking, Celestine Akporbari of OSF said: “We gave the Federal Government 90 days to implement the UNEP report but nothing has happened. What they are seeing today is just a little of what is to come.
“We are heading for total shutdown until the Federal Government considers the UNEP report as not only important, but the right of Ogoni people,” Akporbari said.