The people of Assa autonomous community in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State have short-down operation of SEPLAT oil company in their area due to the unresolved crisis rocking the indigenes of the community.
Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper gathered that the people of the community which comprised of the fathers, youths and women who went necked, commenced protest at the SEPLAT oil company site lately Saturday 15th August with attempt to dislodge the presence of SEPLAT oil company in their land but the intervention of the military brought calmness among the agitators.
Our correspondent visited the SEPLAT oil company site on Monday 17th August where over one thousand (1000) indigenes of the community were steadfast protesting over marginalisation and the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Eze Emma Aso was accused of instigating crisis among indigenes of the community and intimidation of his subjects in alliance with some authority holders, according to them.
Speaking with the leader of the protesters, Eric Echemdu who identified himself as the Landlords Youth President, told Journalists that “we’re in protest because we’re the owners of this land and we’re cheated in this land, they way community want to cheat us in this land, we’re not happy that is why we’re here to agitate. Assa is made of 5 villages, out of the 5 villages, is only 2 villages that owned this land here”.
“I don’t know why the Eze of this community want to cause crisis in this site, we have been working with SEPLAT, there is no problem for one day, we have been working with SEPLAT very peacefully but the Eze has allied with people to intimidate the owners of the land. We’re begging the State Government and the Governor to keep his ear on ground to know what is happening in Assa community and come for our rescue”.
“If there is any chance for work, Assa community should take their own, the landlords of the place should take their own. We want to let the Imo State Government to know that this is the only land we have for farming and today we don’t have any where to farm again. We want to let Imo State Government to know that His Royal Highness in Assa is causing problems in Assa community”.
“The landlords are not happy and I don’t think work will continue in this place: I don’t know wether Governor Hope Uzodimma is not aware of what Eze Emma Aso is doing to all of us?”. He asked