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