Justice In Nigeria Now!

For Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Community Livelihoods

Chevron Still Paying Nigerian Military to Kill Unarmed Protesters

Posted by sarahjinn on November 25, 2008

While Chevron is defending themselves in US court for aiding and abetting the Nigerian military to shoot and kill unarmed protesters in Nigeria in May of 1998 they continue to do the same thing as recently as last week according to the Vanguard a large Nigerian Newspaper.  The following excerpt is from Friday November 21, 2008:

“In Warri, a woman and a young boy were shot, yesterday, by men of the Joint Task Force on the Niger Delta at Escravos in Delta State following a peaceful protest by Ugborodo youths against the Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) over job slots and contracts.

The two injured villagers were conveyed yesterday evening to an undisclosed hospital in Warri by the CNL for medical attention after the dust on the incident settled. However, a community source said seven persons were shot and gave their names as Ms Toju Akitikori, Messrs. John Toghanrose, Tony Mene, Samuel Mejebi and one Arubi all of whom are currently receiving treatment in various private clinics in Warri.

But Commander of the JTF, Brigadier-General Nanven Rimtip, who visited Escravos, yesterday, to assess the situation told Vanguard that some armed youths invaded the Chevron facility in Escravos and opened fire, forcing his men to shoot to defend themselves and the location.
He said he was not aware of any casualty on the side of the “attackers” but none of his men was injured.

Vice chairman of the Delta Waterways Security Committee (DWSC), Mr. Ayiri Emami, who is also a youth leader in Ugborodo, however, told Vanguard that it was not true that the protesting villagers carried arms or fired at the JTF operatives.

He said the community carried out a peaceful protest against the company for breaching the Memorandum of Understanding entered by both parties on the issues of job slots and contracts, adding that they came with boats.

He said when he got a call from a senior military officer that the youths were protesting with arms, he requested the officer to send his men to the scene and if anybody was found with arms, he (Ayiri) should be arrested.

Ayiri said the JTF operatives callously opened fire on the peaceful protesters, apparently with a mistaken notion that since armed youths hijacked a ship conveying goods for the Escravos –Gas-to-Liquid project, last weekend, they might have regrouped to attack the company.

But he said the protest should not have come as a surprise to the company because the community had made known its grievances before then, adding that it was because the company knew it was a peaceful protest that it offered to take the victims to the hospital for treatment.

Brigadier-General Rimtip who spoke to Vanguard from Escravos said: “If it was a peaceful protest as they claimed, then, why did they open fire on my men? They cannot fold their hands and watch while people are firing at them. Enough is enough.”

He said the situation was under control as at yesterday evening, a development which a furious Ayiri also confirmed, pointing out that he had contacted the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan over the assault on his people by the JTF.

Vice-chairman of Ugborodo Community Trust, Mr. Isaac Botosan, who corroborated Ayiri’s claim told Vanguard that the soldiers shot into the community on sighting the peaceful crowd of protesting natives, saying many of the natives were now hiding inside the bush with varying degrees of gun shot injuries.

Mr. Botosan said the community could no longer guarantee a safe working environment for the continuation of the EGTL project following the unprovoked attack on their people.”

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