The crisis bugging OML 30, the largest oil mining lease in the Nigeria Delta, got messier on Tuesday as hundreds of protesting ex-militants disrupted the peaceful atmosphere of the Warri office of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), operator of the lease.
The protesters, bearing placards with various messages, threatened unpleasant reactions if the company dares to bring in “foreigners” to take over interfacing for the host communities.
Tension had increased in the last few days when communities alleged that the operators of the oil mining license, Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), was in the process of replacing the OML 30 Community Development Board (CDB), with a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Expressing anger during the protest, the ex-militants said the alleged attempt to bring in a third party into the
relationship with the communities, if allowed, would derail peace.
“We, the youths of OML 30, in collaboration with ex-militants phases 1 to 3, have gathered here to protest what we feel will cause trouble in our region here,” Lord Tennyson, a youth leader, said.
“We, have been enjoying relative peace in OML 30, the youths and the ex-militants have been able together to say there’s no need for us to have any problem in OML30; let production go up, lot government make more income so that they can come back will come back with development for our community and then we will then benefit as
“This coexistence has been existing, for some time now we’ve not had any problem, there has been peace. If you look well you will see that there has not been any issue of vandalism, but recently there has been this uproar in OML 30 that there’s an NGO that came in that want to take over the leadership of security others from our people.
“According to them they came to ask us to down our tools and work with them so that things will improve, but we said no, that we are already at peace among ourselves, we are satisfied with the peace we are having now. They have gone into my community, met with the ex-militants that are there and tried to incite them so that they will
However, the protesters later dispersed when Okey Okocha, security manager of HEOSL, arrived.
Okocha assured the protesters that their message had been received and promised to take same to the company’s management.