The road leading to the Naval Base, NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education and several neighbourhoods in Rumuolumeni was finally opened to traffic on Tuesday after several hours of engagement of officials of Rivers State Government with community and youth leaders of Rumuolumeni.
The locals had blocked the road after naval personnel arrested the chairman of the community development committee, Ikechi Williams, of Rumuolumeni and four others on charges of kidnapping workers of Ocean Marine Solution Limited, operating within the base of NNS Pathfinder.
But the community members denied the claim by the navy, saying the people were demanding that Ocean marine, which had been operating in the area for the past 20 years should enter into a memorandum of understanding with the community on employment and other social responsibility.
On Monday, the locals held some workers of the company. But things took a twist when naval personnel arrested the chairman of the CD, and the employment committee of the company accusing them of kidnapping workers of Ocean Marine.
In response, the people blocked all roads leading in and out of the community thereby paralysing economic and social functions for several hours as they demanded the release of their kinsmen by the navy.
State government officials, the police and military authorities had to step in at a time to resolve the issue. After intense negotiations that took several hours at the palace of the traditional ruler of Rumuolumeni, the committee officials were released and the youths opened the roads for traffic.
Faceoff with oil and gas companies have become a common feature in Rivers State, where communities allege that companies fail to employ their youths in their operations.