Protesters on Monday dumped a red coffin at the entrance of a residential estate belonging to the American oil giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria, in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
According to Premium Times, a similar coffin was also dumped at the entrance of Mobil Air Strip in Eket. Another was kept at a major junction – Marina Junction – in the city.
The protesters, mostly youth, were protesting Mobil’s refusal to relocate its head office from Lagos to Akwa Ibom State. They were drawn from the company’s host communities of Eket, Esit-Eket, Onna, and Ibeno.
The report added that the youths who defied heavy rainfall, barricaded the entrance to Mobil’s facilities in the city.
In March, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, “to engage” with International Oil Companies (IOCs) “on the way forward” on the relocation of their head offices to the states where they produce oil from.
Most of the IOCs in Nigeria have their headquarters in Lagos, South-west of the country, hundreds of kilometers away from the oil-rich Niger Delta region where they make their revenue.
The Niger Delta people have long complained that while oil exploration activities have polluted their environment, the IOCs were paying taxes and other benefits to another state.