By Jimmy Lace, Warri
ANGRY Ijaw youths, yesterday took over Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) Gas Pipelines Project after chasing away workers from site.
They said their action was necessitated by the recently renewed Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between Chevron Nigeria Limited, Egbema/Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation and the Delta State Government as well as lack of basic amenities Chevron failed to provide for them.
Our Correspondent reports that the angry Ijaw youths, numbering over 500 stormed the 16inch Gas Pipelines being constructed for Chevron from the Abiteye Flowstation to Escravos, seized it and chased out the workers.
The fierce looking Ijaw youths said they are not comfortable with the GMoU and the foot dragging of CNL to sand fill Benikrukru Community, pilling of the community, sweeping of the canals in their community and their stake in the Regional Development Council.
According to them, their representatives from Benikrukru Community who signed the GMoU never got the approval of the community to do so adding that besides the GMoU, CNL failed to provide the community with amenities needed badly.
It would be recalled that at the wake of the signing of the GMoU, members of the Benikrukru Community after an emergency meeting held November 13, 2012, sanctioned those who signed the GMoU and threatened to mobilize women and children in the days ahead to cripple the Abiteye Flowstation and other facilities of Chevron.
They made good this threat yesterday when they seized the Multi-billion naira Gas Pipelines Project of CNL being handled by an indigenous firm.
It was learnt that the protesting youths arrived the site with several boats and ordered out all workers from site, no one was hurt.
Chairman of Benikrukru Community, Chief Jeffrey Ojogun described the action as a tip of the ice-berg in view of what will happen to other facilities of the company in the coming days.
He claimed that CNL was trying to cause disaffection and disunity in Benikrukru Community, imploring the company to stop meddling in the affairs of Benikrukru Community in the interest of peace.
“We want to warn that this is just the beginning of our planned action against Chevron Nigeria Limited, a company that has murdered sleep in our community and we have vowed not to allow the company to know peace,” he stated.
According to him, “Apart from the issue of the vexed GMoU, we are demanding from Chevron the sand-filling of our community, pilling of the community, sweeping of the canals and our stake in the Regional Council and these demands must be addressed urgently by the company.”