Many injured as protest against NLNG by host community turns violent

The protesters at the gate of NLNG before the violence

*Many injured, properties vandalized
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Protest by members of Finima community the host of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) against the gas company in Bonny in local government area of Rivers State turned violent on Thursday with many people sustaining injuries.
Workers of NLNG were barred by the protesters from resuming duties today failure of the multinational gas company in implementing host community rights of the National Local Content policy.
But it was learnt that what started as  a very peaceful protest with some  members of  Finima Community beating drums and dancing in front of the gate of the company turned violent when the peaceful protesters were suddenly attacked by some rival youths who mobilized and disrupted the protest.
The ensuing confusion resulted in  a free-for-all fight at the  gate of the expansive premises of NLNG with people suspected to be hoodlums cashing on the chaotic situation to vandalize shops and set ablaze a bus belonging Bonny youths ablaze.
According to the spokesman, and community leader of Finima ,Mr Adagogo Lambeth Brown, the main grievances of the his people is that NLNG has refused to accord the community its due as its main host.
While speaking with journalists ,Brown regretted that hoodlums invaded his people who were merely expressing their grievances in peaceful manner within the ambit of the law leading many of them injured.
In the words of Mr. Brown” the issues of resettlement are still hanging after many years the gas producing company took off.”
“We have internally displaced persons. How can a Finima indigene pay house rent in Finima?,” he queried.
Other legacy issues covers environment , employment, health and general welfare of the people.
The protesters also complained over the refusal of the company to resettle the people who lost their ancestral land to the NLNG site in the early 90s during regime of for military President Gen.Ibrahim Babangida .

Spokesman, and Community Leader of Finima ,Mr Adagogo Lambeth Brown.

General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development of NLNG said the company said: “We can confirm an ongoing disagreement between two groups on Bonny Island, which has led to protests and blockade of some major routes.
“NLNG wishes to state that as a good corporate citizen, it applies the principle of fairness and inclusiveness in engaging with its esteemed stakeholders. The Company has always considered all stakeholders in the community trusted partners, and it continues to maintain this position.
“NLNG remains fully committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community. We have internally displaced persons. How can a Finima indigene pay house rent in Finima?”