Power outage: Protesters stone traditional ruler in oil giant office

The traditional ruler of the Twon Brass community in Bayelsa, Alfred Diette-Spiff was on Wednesday stoned by his subjects when he led them to protest at the office of a major oil giant, Agip’s Crude Export Terminal.

The monarch and he subjects were protesting against a lingering power outage in their community but had to fled the scene as the protests turned ugly.

Eyewitness stated that Diette-Spiff had addressed the protesters and urged them to disperse and leave the premises of Agip, as discussions with the oil firm to resolve the dispute continued in Port Harcourt.

The aggrieved community members, who had blocked access to the oil firm’s offices, shunned the appeal by the traditional ruler and became restive and hauled missiles at him, as he was immediately whisked off the scene to avert further violence.

Youth President of Twon Brass, Mr. Edward Edison stated that but for the timely intervention of the youths and armed security personnel deployed to the oil firm had doused the situation would have turned bloody.

He added that though a 24-year old was shot in the process.

He explained that King Diette-Spiff had to leave the community in a hurry to avert escalation of the situation as the residents vowed to remain in the premises of Agip until power was restored.

The protests had since disrupted activities at the oil firm’s office premises located on Brass Island, near the Atlantic coastline, as community members, comprising women, youths and elders had, since May 14, occupied and blocked access to Agip’s operational office demanding immediate restoration of power.

Chief Benjamin Obuala, Chairman, Twon Brass Community Development Committee (CDC) said the protesters would, however, continue to remain peaceful in ventilating their grievances over the power outage which had persisted for over two months.

When contacted for reaction, Ms Cioni Maririna, Media Relations Official at Eni, parent company of Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) , declined to comment.

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