Port Harcourt—A group of ex-agitators from Ogoni extraction have vowed to shut the Port Harcourt Refining Company and other multinational firms in Eleme, Rivers State over the deplorable state of the East-West Road.
According to the Punch, the ex-agitators under the aegis of Ogoni Living Martyrs, listed the other firms in the area they would shut as the Indorama Eleme Petro-Chemical Company, the Notorea Fertilizer Company, among others.
They said the action would force the Federal Government to begin work on the road, which had been neglected for decades despite leading to locations of critical national assets, including the Nigeria Ports Authority and the Oil and Gas Free Zone.
The ex-agitators stated that many Ogoni people and other Nigerians had lost their lives while using the road due to frequent crashes.
Recall that many youth groups had in the past staged protests to draw the attention of the Federal Government to rehabilitate the road.
The Coordinator of the Ogoni Living Matyrs, Kpuebari Marcus, while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday, also said they intended to cripple the nation’s economy and force the government to fix the road.
He stated, “Many Ogoni people and other Nigerians have lost their lives while using that road. The reason why we want to shut down the companies is that we are losing our brothers and sisters.
“The government doesn’t have respect for the Ogoni people. We know that shutting these companies will affect the government because the companies will not pay revenue to the government.”
On his part, the President of the National Youth Council of the Ogoni People, Barinuazor Emmanuel, said the deplorable state of the Eleme section of the East-West Road was now unbearable.
“We are left with no option than to shut down all economic activities and we are not waiting for anybody’s per mission.
“Any moment from now, we will shut down Indorama, Notorea, NNPC and all the other 200 companies in Eleme, because we gave a 14-day ultimatum which expired three weeks ago.
“The only thing they did was to invite the National Assembly Committee on NDDC. They promised that before the end of last month (August), they were coming to fix the road and that money was ready from the NNPC. This is September, nothing has been done.”
Also, the spokesman of the Ogoni Living Matyrs, Elder Uncle Mukan, said trucks were falling on the Eleme section of the East-West road on a daily basis, causing gridlock and loss of lives, while the government continued to pay lip service to the situation.
He said, “We will no longer block the road because when we do, we will also be making our people to suffer.”