- Vigilante kills shop owner
No fewer than nine persons sustained various degrees of injury yesterday as two groups clashed over a barricade on the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) office in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Indigenes of Finima town in the council had barricaded the NLNG complex in protest the alleged failure of the gas multinational to meet the host community’s demands.
Members of the community, numbering over 1000, danced, sang while displaying placards with different inscriptions such as: ‘Has Finima not sacrificed enough?’ ‘Even scholarships, you cannot give us,’ ‘Our creeks used to feed us but you have taken it away,’ among others.
The Finima group demanded official recognition as a host community by the NLNG as it had done to the Bonny people. However, the peaceful demonstration later turned violent when Bonny youths, on hearing of the protest, allegedly mobilised to open the NLNG gate.
The Guardian gathered that Bonny youths struggled with Finima youths in an attempt to open the gates to show superiority. A source disclosed that in the process, nine persons sustained injuries. Consequently, Finima people picked dangerous objects to retaliate.
Speaking on the issue, a community leader, Adagogo Lambeth Brown, said issues that included resettling of people who lost their ancestral land to the NLNG site in the early 90s during Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s regime was yet to be addressed.
Also, a former chairman, Finima Youth Council, Ala Hart, said the people were suffering and needed implementation of the Community Content Guidelines of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board.
The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development of NLNG, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, confirmed the development. He said the firm remained fully committed to sustainable development in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, a shop owner at the Garrison Computer Village in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State has been shot dead by a member of a local vigilante group during an argument.
The killing came two days after a commercial bus driver identified as Christian was shot dead on the NTA Road in Obio/Akpor Council by an operative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the Rivers State Task Force on street trading and illegal motor park.
The Guardian gathered that trouble started when a vigilante member accosted the man who was about to enter his shop at Garrison on Wednesday evening.
A trader in the area said the vigilante asked the deceased man to identify himself before he should enter his shop.
According to the eyewitness, the demand led to a heated argument and one of the vigilantes brought out a gun and shot him.
When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.