Fear gripped residents of Mobil Housing Estate and Airstrip in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom over five mock coffins placed at their gates by Afigh Iwaad Ekid, a socio-cultural group in Eket.
It was gathered that the group used the mock coffins wrapped with such traditional injunctions as red cloth and raffia palms to serve as a warning protest over the refusal of the company to relocate its corporate headquarters to its operational base in the state.
Activities of the company yesterday were almost paralysed as vehicles belonging to the company, workers and visitors were seen parked outside the company’s premises while the management made no effort to remove the coffins.
A spokesman of Afigh Iwaad Ekid, Mr. Joe Etukudo while addressing newsmen in Eket said, “It is time for Mobil to relocate to Akwa Ibom State in keeping with the directives of the Presidency.
“We are going to shut down operations of the company both on-shore and off-shore if after 14 days from this warning protest, the company does not take us seriously”.
Etukudo berated Mobil for treating relocation of its headquarters to the state with disdain, saying that Akwa Ibom State has been one of the most peaceful in country.
“We are going to tell Mobil that we can bark and bite and that being peaceful does not mean that we are stupid. The company has no excuse to give why it should not relocate its headquarters to its operational base”, he stressed.
However, there was no sign of protest at the Mobil operational base in Ibeno local government area when newsmen visited the area.
The Head Media and Communication, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha could not be reached via his telephone for reaction as at the time of filing this report.