Eni, Italian parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on Friday said ongoing protests over power outage at Twon Brass host community did not adversely affect oil export.
It would be recalled that residents of Twon Brass in Bayelsa had on May 14 blocked access and occupied the Brass Terminal gate to demand restoration of power supply which had persisted for two months.
Activities at the oil firm’s office in Brass Island and other economic activities have been halted by the protest as residents compelled all businesses in the area to close shop in solidarity.
The protest became rowdy on May 19 when the monarch King Alfred Diette-Spiff appealed to the protesters to disperse while their grievance are being discussed with NAOC but the angry mob attacked the monarch who was whisked out while a 24 year old was shot in the process.
A statement from the management of Eni made available by a spokesperson from the oil firm on Friday claimed that power supply has been restored to Twon Brass.
“An electrical cable connecting the terminal to the community was damaged by a lightning bolt, leaving therefore the Community without electricity. This led to peaceful protests at the Brass terminal gate.
“The repair job has been done on urgent basis and power to the Community has been fully restored today (Friday).
“Production has not been impacted and we expect the normalization of operations in the next few days,” Eni stated.
Howevwell, Mr Taribalalate George, a resident of Twon Brass said by telephone from Brass that the power situation was yet to stabilise and hence the people were still at the protest site.
“As we speak, there is no power in Twon Brass but they brought the light yesterday but it has been going off and on and we are suspicious that it is a ploy to disperse the people while the power issue persists.
“The protest is still on, because we have so many issued bothering on Agip’s neglect of their social obligations as spelt out in our Memorandum of Understanding but it was the power outage that sparked off the protest and we insist all other issues are resolved as well,” George said.
He explained that the community leadership and some government officials were expected to come to the protest site at Agip’s Terminal gate to interact with the protesters and update them on progress made in the negotiations but they did not show up.