The cold war between the indigenes of Akwa Ibom and management of Exxon Mobil Nigeria finally went viral on Tuesday as social media users from the state made true their word to begin an online protest against the multi-national company using the hashtag #RelocateExxonMobilHQ
Thousands of Akwa Ibomites trooped online to trend the demand which was started by a prominent local blogger, Mr Cavil Uduak Inwang. Mobil staffs have been accused of not spending a single night in Akwa Ibom whenever they come to town for oil exploration but fly in and out of the QIT terminals everyday like the moneybags they are, without even stopping to shop in the state supermarkets from the money generated within.
Known as exploiters by the agitators, they noted that the New International Economic Order (NIEO) of 1964 during the first session of the United Nations conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convened by the League of Developing Countries (LDC) manadated that regulation and control of activities of Multi-National Corporations/Trans-National Corporations (MNCs/TCs) be done by the host state, which Mobil has failed to do over the years.
A petition has also been opened in go petition to collate signatures of persons who truly demand for the relocation of the multi billion dollar oil and gas company. According to Akwa Ibom Trending, “ExxonMobil is deeply worried about exposing its expatriates and other senior workers to the hazards of the environmental pollution and devastation caused through long years of neglect”.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed between Mobil Nigeria and the community in 1998 has among its agreements the movement of the company’s headquarter to the host state, which has been abandoned.
“The interests and concerns of the communities must be taken into consideration. A practice where oil companies have greater access to the corridors of power in Abuja than the local the oil comes from needs to be discontinued”, stated one of the online protesters.