There is tension in Otuasega community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the whereabouts of three youths allegedly shot on Friday by the security personnel attached to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Daily Trust gathered that trouble started when a truck conveying a swamp buggy machine was accosted by some youths in the community, who demanded that two-tipper load of chippings be poured on the deplorable portions of their road.
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They had claimed that the road got damaged due to frequent plying of the Otuasega-Imiringi road by heavy-duty machines belonging to Shell contractors.
The aggrieved youths barricaded the Shell gas line manifold along the Otuasega-Imiringi road, threatening to shut down the company.
Recounting the incident, the chairman of the Otuasega Community Development Committee (CDC), Mr Raniyar Marcus, said there was no confrontation between the youths and security agencies prior to the attack.
“We discovered that the heavy-duty machines had really destroyed the road; so we only pleaded with Shell contractors to come and pour chippings on it.
“While we were still discussing, a particular man who was always seen around where the soldiers are guarding Shell gas line, a surveillance man that is doing the gas work, left and came back with two soldiers and one personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) who started shooting.
“As we speak, three of our community boys are still missing and we don’t know their whereabouts. While searching for them in the bush, we only saw a cell-phone belonging to one of them. We are demanding for our missing youths and the soldiers that shot at them.
“I have gone to the Shell camp and complained about what happened to the commander there and he apologised and promised to call the commander at the gas line.
“But when I got to the gas line, the commander there said he did not know me and that he was not going to discuss with me,” he said.
When contacted, the police spokesman in Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, said the incident was not reported to them. He directed inquiries to the military and the NSCDC.
The spokesman for the NSCDC in the state, Mr Solomon Ogbere, said there was no gunshot during the misunderstanding between the youth and security personnel.
He described the story of the missing youths as fabricated, explaining that the NSCDC officials and soldiers attached to Shell facility were there to restore peace and make way for contractors to do their work.