Warri - Nigerian villagers staged a third day of protests Thursday outside a Chevron facility to seek better jobs, as soldiers were called in to patrol the area, a community leader said Thursday.
Protesters from Ugborodo village hunkered down outside a Chevron oil depot in the mineral-rich swamplands of Delta State where communities live in poverty despite the region's massive oil wealth.
The Nigerian government is struggling to contain growing anger in the riverlands that has since the start of this year seen a series of bomb attacks on oil infrastructure by militants fighting for more political autonomy and a bigger cut of crude revenues.
"The protest is fully on course," Collins Edema, president of the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates told AFP.
"We have brought a DJ and traditional drums to make it more of a carnival event despite the fact that they are trying to use the military to terrorise us."
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Edema said that so far there have been no clashes between soldiers and protesters, who are camped outside the Chevron tank farm protected by a 10-foot (three-metre) concrete wall laced with barbed wire.
Yesterday, the protesters said Chevron workers were evacuated from the facility in planes and helicopters.
Ugborodo, a fishing village in the country's south, can only be accessed from air or by an hour-long boat ride through the mangrove creeks from the oil hub city of Warri. It is close to the Chevron facility.
"We continue to engage with the protesters and other key community leaders and stakeholders, including the Delta State Government, and hope for a resolution of the situation shortly," Texas-based Chevron spokeswoman Isabel Ordonez said in a statement.
Ugborodo villagers have a history of staging protests against Chevron. Their complaints, focussing on jobs, community development and pollution, have stayed the same over the years.