The three days warning protest embarked upon by the oil bearing communities in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, namely, Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and Ibeno, against ExxonMobil refusal to pay the 2012 oil spill compensation has received a boost from a US based ?human right activist, Mr. Sam Itauma.
In a press statement widely published in various human right blogs and websites, Itauma described the protest as a “very courageous and commendable” means by the oil bearing communities to ask for the oil spill compensation which was agreed upon by the multinational to pay since last year but suddenly reneged on it agreement.
“The peaceful protest by oil bearing Communities – ?Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and Ibeno against ExxonMobil refusal to pay the agreed oil spill compensation deal is a very courageous and commendable move to check the age long neglect, exploitation and deprivation. It’s indeed a genuine way to press home their legitimate demands”
The statement strongly accused Mobil of playing a divide and rule tactics and urged the company to stop paying deaf ear to the plight of its host communities who bear the brunt of environmental degradation and pollution from its activities; while stating that the company’s working relationship has even gone worst and become badly insensitive to the community’s plight since it transformed from Mobil to ExxonMobil.
” We?re no strangers to the divide and conquer antics of ExxonMobil. It was even better when it was just Mobil: as they often listen at least with one ear ? Community roads tarred, borehole?water provided, scholarship issued when sometimes called to act. Since it became ExxonMobil, both eardrums have been perennially blocked. It?s a clear case of callous insensitivity to the plight of the people who have suffered long years of deprivation and untold hardship. The goose that lays the golden egg continues to be deprived, suffocated; harsh, toxic chemicals unleashed to depopulate the host community. What a good price to pay for laying the golden eggs!” The statement added.
The Eket born activist called on ExxonMobil not to wait until the protest results into casualties before deciding to pay the compensation it consented to over a year ago.
“ExxonMobil should not wait until lives are lost during the protests before it addresses the yearnings and demands of the protesting communities, as this will leave an unpardonable scar in minds of its hosts…” Itauma asserts.
Release Esit Eket Monarch:
The press statement by Mr Sam Itauma also passionately called for the release of the Paramount Ruler of Esit Eket, Chief Ubong Peter Assam who was kidnapped a day prior to the commencement the protest match by the ExxonMobil oil bearing communities of Eket.
It described the the abduction of the monarch as “preposterous and regrettable” while maintaining that such culture was alien to the Eket communities at large.
“Please, release your own father from captivity! It?s not only preposterous to abduct an old sage but very regrettable. You can?t punish your own father for the sins of plunderers. This alien and abhorrent act is now becoming a way of life! Please, release HIs Royal Majesty, Chief Ubong Assam to get his medication.
He expressed worry that failure to release the royal father might lead to the deterioration of his already poor health condition or untimely death.
He dismissed insinuation that Edidem Assam was in support of ExxonMobil’s refusal to pay the oil spill compensation.
“Any good sufferer of high blood pressure is bound to be stroked or die if his medication is not taken at the appropriate time…Can the abductee monarch stop the ExxonMobil from paying the communities their due compensation as it?s currently being peddled? The answer of course , can never be in the affirmative….” the statement queried