Landlords on the platform of Concerned Landlords of Land and Swamp Areas in Collaboration with The Ijaw Youths Council, Worldwide on Monday protested against the constant neglect and marginization by AGIP, an oil company in Mgbuosimini area of Port Harcourt.
Director-General of the Concerned Landlords of Swamp and Land Areas, Hon. Onisoya James Odu explained that the landlords were willing to exhaust every diplomatic and peaceful approach in settling the current issue but would cripple the activities of the oil firm if their demands are not met.
He said: “We have come here to let the world know what we are going through. We have tried all we can as peaceful landlords of Agip to resolve all issues. The message we sent across they treated it with levity.
“We have told them in our earlier briefing that we will exhaust the three Cs, Consolidation, Consultation before Confrontation. If all our demands are not met, we will have no other option than to confront them and shut all their operations on our land.”
He said: “Are our people not employable? Are we not good enough to occupy some positions? How can you come to our land, take our natural resources away without giving attention to the people? We have been too patient, how long will we continue like this? They have been taking us for a ride, we say, enough is enough.
“Agip is a company that will deceive our people to sign GMoU and they will not fulfil it. We are here to let them know that if our demands are not met we are not giving them a timeline because we believe that why are reasonable enough to address our needs as fast as possible.
“If they fail we will have no other option than to declare Force Majeure. We will be left with no other option than to shut their operations so that they know how we feel.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime, for how long are they going to be cheating and marginalising us? I want them to tell us how many of their landlords are employed in this company. Since 1956 that started operations and exploration in our communities nothing has happened to us, and we kept quiet.
“They have always tried to use the security agencies to intimidate us so that we keep calm, but enough is enough. We are supposed to be the best to secure their facilities and not the security agencies. Here is not a war or military zone that it should be militarised.
“We spoke earlier they called us a faceless organisation and did not attend to our demands. We are here to do our consolidation and if they fail we will have no option than to declare Force Majeure.”