Midwestern Oil and Gas Limited, said the reason for the recent attack on its production facility at Umusadege, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State, is still unknown, even as it admitted to receiving a strange letter from youths in the area prior to the attack.
The indigenous oil company in a statement made available to Vanguard last week, said, “… a band of armed men invaded our production site at Umusadege in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
“They molested some staff members in dehumanizing manner, and eventually shut down the company, after they over-powered the company’s security guards.
“The immediate reason for the attack is not known. However, two weeks before they struck, a certain group under the aegis of Umusadege Youth Forum had written two letters to the management of Midwestern Oil and Gas. (They) alleged, ‘no regard to the constituted authority of our land’, claiming also that the ‘primary benefits’ accruable to the community are ignored.
“The incoherent letter further threatened that if the company did not respond to the issues raised, it will be compelled to “take any action that will disrupt the smooth operation of your organisation.”
Midwestern Oil, which described the allegations as “strange” and “unfounded”, said the company has always been “very active in the discharge of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which has been through scholarship awards to the youths of the community, skill acquisition, renovation of classrooms, building of roads, provision of water scheme, etc.”
It added that the company has also been “utmostly responsible in its dealings with the legitimate representatives of the community in line with the corporate governance structure and as enshrined in the executed memorandum of understanding (MOU).
“The said Umusadege Youth Forum is unknown to the relationship between the company and the community.
“Indeed, not only has the community disowned and condemned the assailants, it has reiterated its commendation for the beneficial relationship that exists between them and Midwestern Oil and Gas.”
The company further noted that it had never experienced such “scale of violence perpetrated by the assailants, as its Community Liaison Officer had always related well with representatives of the community.
Against this backdrop, Midwestern Oil condemned “the unwarranted attack on our personnel and facilities and call for the arrest and prosecution of those behind it,” while urging the community to resolve whatever internal differences that exist among them.
Information from Vanguard was used in this report.