Yenogoa, Nigeria | – Protesters briefly shut three oil wells owned by Italy’s ENI in the Niger Delta region of south-south Nigeria over the weekend and could try do so again, a community leader said on Tuesday.
Timiondi Fabofighe, chairman of the Ikebiri Community Development Committee (CDC), said the protests, against the presence of multinational oil companies in Nigeria’s oil production heartland, took place at ENI’s subsidiary Agip in Bayelsa state.
ENI declined to comment. It was not immediately clear if the protests had affected production.
“It is true that we shut down three oil wells belonging to Agip,” said Fabofighe, adding that the protesters wanted ENI to agree to fund projects aimed at developing local communities and creating jobs for the people.
Another community leader, Timi Igoli, of the Civil Liberties Organisation Bayelsa state, said armed men removed the protesters from the site and had been on patrol since.
Bayelsa is in the Niger Delta region’s energy hub that produces most of the oil in Nigeria, which makes up two-thirds of government revenue, but is an impoverished region. Locals have long called for the energy wealth to be reflected in the region’s development.