Former militants from Akwa Ibom State have accused Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) of not complementing the government’s gesture for peace in the Niger Delta region.

The youths, under the aegis of Ex-Niger Delta Agitators Forum in Akwa Ibom, decried the neglect of the oil communities by the company which is an affiliate of ExxonMobil.

The Secretary of the forum, Paul Edoho said oil firms operating in the region were expected to collaborate with the Federal Government in creating jobs for the youths.

“It is rather unfortunate that oil firms operating in the Niger Delta region are yet to do their part in the amnesty progamme of the Federal Government to address the neglect of the region,” Edoho said.

“The companies are silent and in our own state, Akwa Ibom, we have approached Mobil and we observed that they systematically excluded the oil communities over the years from their operations.”

Besides staging a peaceful protest last week to draw the company’s attention to the continued neglect of Akwa Ibom oil producing communities, Edoho said the ex-militants had also called for the relocation of the headquarters of the oil firm from Lagos to Akwa Ibom in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government.

According to him, because most MPN employees pay taxes to other states, the impact of the company was yet to be felt on Akwa Ibom’s economy.

“We have asked them to ensure that their service companies are compelled to open their project offices within the state to create jobs for the ex-militants,” the ex-militant said.

“This is very important because the oil firms are enjoying the peace ushered in by the amnesty programme but have not supported it.”

Edoho said they had chosen to adopt a non-violent approach in getting the oil firm to accommodate them, and it was because of this approach that Mobil had enjoyed uninterrupted operations which had resulted to improved oil output in the last few years.

He urged the oil firm to invest in the post-amnesty scheme by developing social amenities for the host communities.

Speaking also, Williams Mkpa, a community leader in Ibeno, said the community had suffered several oil spills as a result of activities at the Qua Iboe terminal, yet Mobil had refused to pay compensation to affected fishermen.

“We are compelled to seek legal redress and I can tell you that we have several pending cases with Mobil because they are insensitive to the cry of members of their host community,” Mkpa said.

“The level of underdevelopment in Ibeno, where Mobil has operated for over 40 years, is like an open wound for all to see, so what the ex-militants are agitating for is justified.”

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