Some contractors in Eket, Akwa Ibom State on Friday protested the non-payment of 2013 oil spill compensation by ExxonMobil.
The contractors, mostly youths, were seen in Eket carrying placards with inscriptions entitled: “ExxonMobil pay us our 50 per cent oil spill 3rd milestones.”
Other inscriptions read: “Mobil must pay us our money”, “ExxonMobil stop lying, there is no court injunction pay us.”, “Mobil stop deceiving us”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that activities at ExxonMobil Airstrip were disrupted due to the protest.
Duke Dike, who spoke on behalf of the contractors, said the company had marginalised Eket people over non-payment of the third milestone SP2 project.
Dike said: “This is a warning protest, if by the end of the day, we do not receive alert, we will commence full protest and bring ‘tradition injunction’ to block the airstrip.
“Since 2013, when the oil spill occurred, it took ExxonMobil just last year to pay the first milestone and another eight months before paying second milestone.
“The first and second milestones which are 25 per cent and 15 per cent respectively have been paid. However, the third milestone is yet to be paid.
“Without us protesting, Mobil will not pay SP2 project money; it took the company one year and eight months to pay the second milestone which is 15 per cent.
“And the third milestone which is 50 per cent, ExxonMobil is yet to pay after one year eight months.”
He however expressed dismay that the company had paid the consultant and told the consultant not to pay the money to the community.
Dike explained that three core oil communities, which comprises of Ibeno, Onna and Esit Eket, had been paid except Eket.
Dike further called on the management of ExxonMobil to urgently pay the remaining 50 per cent to the community or face the consequences.
NAN reports that it took the intervention of the Divisional Police Officer in Eket, Benjamin Archegbani, who averted the peaceful protest from being hijacked by street urchin.
Archegbani also appealed to the protesters to allow peace prevail.
He urged them to give him time to meet with the management of ExxonMobil over the issue.
Efforts to reach the Manager, Media and Communication of the company, Ogechukwu Udeagha, prove abortive as calls to his phone were not responded to.