Lagos, Nigeria – Angry youths from an oil-rich but impoverished community in Akwa Ibom state, in Nigeria’s oil producing Niger Delta region, have hijacked a bus packed with workers of an oil firm operating in the community to protest the company’s alleged neglect of the community. According to local press reports Friday, the youths, from Afriyo in Eket, hijacked the 32-seater bus belonging to Frontier Oil Ltd, operators of the Marginal Oil Fields, Thursday. The bus was driven to the palace of the Village Head, where the oil workers were later released unharmed but the bus impounded.
“We did not kidnap employees of Frontier Oil, the Council of Chiefs gave the directive to our youths to seize the bus to protest the neglect of our community in the employment opportunities,’ said Chief Eshiet Abasiekong, Village Head of Afriyo community,
“This community has oil wells which are part of the Uquo marginal oil fields, yet we are not accommodated in the operations of the company. The impounded bus will not be released until they give us employment slots due to us,” Abasiekeong said.
Clashes between protesting youths from oil communities claiming neglect by the oil firms operating in their domain and such oil firms occur frequently in the oil region.