Protesters drag Shell Niger Delta oil facility shutdown into fifth day

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AKUKU-TORU, Nigeria, Aug 15 ) – Protesters on Tuesday dragged the shutdown of a Shell crude oil facility in the Niger Delta into its fifth day, after storming the flow station demanding jobs and infrastructure development last week.

Echoing a common complaint in the impoverished swampland that produces most of Nigeria’s oil, the protesters said they were not benefiting from the region’s oil wealth and wanted an end to the oil pollution that has ruined much of the land.

Protesters still numbered around 800 people, praying and cooking under canopies set up at the Belema Flow Station in Rivers state as security personnel watched.

Shell had evacuated staff late on Thursday, the day before the protest, and shut the facility when it became clear the demonstrators were on their way there, the company has said.

The firm also said last week that its “commitment to the welfare of host communities in the Niger Delta remains unshaken” and it was working with authorities to resume operations at the facility.

Reporting by Tife Owolabi in Akuku-Toru; Writing by Paul Carsten

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA).

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