One Dies as Soldiers Shoot at Protesters

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At least one person has been feared dead in Rumuji Community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, during a protest by youths of the area against Greenville Multinational Oil Company operating in the community.  Rumuji youths had mobilized and laid siege to the company’s premises over alleged abandonment and neglect of the host community before the soldier dispersed them with gunfire.  Soldiers attached to the company had opened fire on the youths who were on peaceful demonstration to Greenville.  It was gathered that no fewer than three persons were hit by stray bullets from the security operatives.  Chizam Nyeche, Nna Aloha and one other person whose name was not ascertained as at the time of this report, were the victims of the shooting carried out by soldiers mounting guard at the company.

Meanwhile, the youths of the area have expressed sadness over the attack by the soldiers deployed by the company against the youths who were on peaceful demonstration.  The President of Landlords and Youths Association, Rumuji, Chikordi Ojims, claimed that the company has refused to come for review of terms and conditions in which they acquired a plot of the land for N5,500.  Ojims threatened that he would continue to mobilize further protest if the matter is not properly resolved.

In the meantime, the Rumuji Divisional Police Headquarters led by its Divisional Police Officer, name withheld, has intervened in the squabble and engaged the youths and the company in a meeting.  It was gathered that the protesters have been urged to put their demands in writing and submit to the company for a round table negotiations which the youths agreed to do but threatened to continue their protest until their demands were met.

Representatives of the company, Greenville declined to speak on the development.  However, the Public Relations Officer, 6 Division, Rivers State, Col. Aminu Ilyasu, said he will comment on the development soon.