At least nine people have been confirmed injured in a clash involving Bonny and Finima communities in Rivers State over the right for recognition by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) office in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Members of the Finima community, numbering over 1000, barricaded the NLNG complex, dancing , singing songs as well as 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 community was said to be protesting the alleged failure of the gas multinational to meet the host community’s demands.
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 Bonny youths engaged the Finima youths in an attempt to open the gates to show superiority, and in the process, nine persons sustained injuries. Consequently, Finima people picked dangerous objects to retaliate.
Adagogo Lambeth Brown , one of the community leader who spoke on the issue,said issues 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 Ala Hart, a former chairman, Finima Youth Council, said the people were suffering and needed implementation of the Community Content Guidelines of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board.