Italian oil giant, Agip have been accused of dumping harmful toxic waste in Ndokwa community in Delta State, Nigeria, and the community’s youths have given them a three week grace period to clean up or suffer the consequences of bloodshed and destruction.
Reports claim that a 21-day ultimatum has been issued to the Italian oil firm to uninstall their facilities and leave Ndokwa community, or face the anger of their axes, machetes and guns.
The Nigerian government had allotted a safe area in Calabar, Cross River State for oil firms to dispose of their toxic waste, but Agip oil is reported to be guilty of polluting its host community with theirs.
Comrade Chukwuma Sheriff, president of the Ndokwa Youth Leaders Assembly (NYLA) claimed that- rather than develop the region, Agip oil company had afflicted the people with diseases. “Agip has not added positively to the development, economically or otherwise of Ndokwa communities. Therefore, we call on all our youths to protest against this injustice and marginalization meted upon our people and land by our enemy, Agip oil company. If after the expiration of this ultimatum they still persist to stay in our land, we shall not hesitate to reward them according to their own coin.” Sheriff added.
By their own coin, the Ndokwa youths are feared to be referring to violent attacks.
In addition to this allegation, the youths of Ndokwa further complained that they have been marginalized, both by the state and federal governments, in spite of the huge human and natural resources they represent. They also the Delta state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to to reverse the state of under-employment in the area.
“While we the Ndukwa youths are protesting the under-employment of our youths in DESOPADEC, the leadership of the commission had awarded the construction of a Modula refinery in other communities, leaving only Ndokwa nation out, another sign of marginalization and injustice on our people. The Modula refinery, at its completion, will be another source of employment to the host communities and also facilitate community development by international investors involved in the projects, but Ndokwa youths will be left to their fate” the youths contended.
Observers have warned that a civil unrest may prove detrimental to the region should the youths be allowed to carry out their threats. The Nigerian Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta and government officials have been put on high alert. However, there has been no comment from Agip, concerning the allegations and threats of violence.