Just as hundreds of Nigerian women at the Escravos oil terminal ended their 10-day standoff Wednesday, women from a rival tribe seized control of four ChevronTexaco flow stations 50 miles east. Protest leader Josephine Ogoba said: “We are going to sit here until Chevron sends its managing director to us, even if it takes two years.”
The new takeovers by Ijaw tribal women aim to secure jobs and amenities similar to those achieved by the Escravos’ women, who are predominantly from the Itsekiri tribe. On Wednesday, the Itsekiri protestors signed a seven-page document with ChevronTexaco executives after the company offered to hire at least 25 villagers and to build schools, electrical and water systems.
The Ijaw sought to control the facilities before the Escravos protesters could seize them, according to Kingsley Kuku, spokesman of the Ijaw Youth Council. While the facilities at Escravaos were temporarily shut down by the protestors, it is unclear at this point whether the newly seized flow stations are still operating.
Nigeria, a critical supplier to the US, is the sixth-largest oil producer worldwide.