By Hannah Nathan, Warri
Three local indigenes who participated in the ongoing nonviolent demonstration at Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) facilities, according to leaders of Ugborodo in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, are allegedly missing.
The leaders of the community claimed that on Wednesday night, following an allegedly violent attack by Naval officers, three protesters vanished at the bottom of the Escravos River.
According to reports, those protesting at the CNL’s facilities over the Petroleum Industry Act’s non-implementation included the three missing indigenes.
A leader in the Ugborodo community named Alex Eyengho revealed this in an early Thursday, November 23, in a text message forwarded to media.
Eyengho further claimed that the Nigerian Navy through the CO in Chevron Nigeria Limited Tank Farm in Ugborodo community, Escravos River, vowed to shoot at-sight and kill the peaceful protesters in the area if they continued with the protest.
He claimed that On the orders of a PGPA Boss in Chevron Nigeria Limited and other senior officials of the oil and gas major, the Commanding Officer (C.O.) of the Chevron Nigeria Limited Tank Farm in Ugborodo Community (Escravos) and his men launched a vicious attack on the protesters.
Eyengho further stated earlier on Wednesday, when he arrived to speak with the demonstrators, Olayinka Aliu, the Navy Chief of Staff, made the threat.
“Let me state for the record that the Navy in the area, led by Olayinka Aliu, should be held accountable if the ongoing peaceful protest against the obvious crimes and wickedness committed by Chevron against its important host communities gets out of control.
“The peaceful protesters have other existential issues with Chevron, aside from the ongoing issue of Chevron’s willful non-implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by existing laws and regulations.
“This is one demonstration that will last a long time. We’re not giving up. We are unwavering. There is no retreating or giving up,” the
said the community leader.
Eyengho vowed that neither Chevron nor the security services could intimidate the Ugborodo people.
“They ought to be prepared to shoot and murder every member of the host communities participating in this protest, including the Ugborodo community.”
But in a brief response to the accusations, Esimaje Brikkin, General Manager, Policy, Government, and Public Affairs at Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, stated, “Nobody is missing.”
Through Victor Anyaegbudike, Manager of Communication, Brikkin had a phone conversation with a news correspondent in Warri, “There’s nothing like that,” he remarked, adding that CNL has not yet responded to the situation.
He requested that the Correspondent inquire with the Ugborodo community members about whether anyone is actually missing.
The spokesperson denied even more that the Nigerian Navy had been compromised by CNL. He said, “We have no authority over the Navy. We don’t give Navy instructions. They are security forces of the government.