Group Cautions Chevron over undue interference in Gbaramtu issues
By Jimmy Lace
Consequently, the group made it clear that any attempt by the company to instigate the peace-loving Gbaramatu people against themselves would be highly resisted by all means possible; alleging that the action of the company in the past cost the lives of three (3) youths in the kingdom and would not want it to repeat itself again.
In a press statement, signed by its President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer, Mukoro Stanley, the group frowned at what it described as undue interference of Chevron in the affairs of Gbaramatu Kingdom and vowed to halt the operations of the company in the days ahead.
Specifically, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change said it was not happy with Chevron’s insistence on an imminent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) in both Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State.
The statement read in part; “We are not comfortable with the position of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in the MoU with EGCDF because those the company is using to tear our communities apart are selfish leaders not representing the interest of the masses and therefore Chevron should not hold any negotiation with them as far as the MoU is concerned.”
“We have seen that Chevron is again conniving with these selfish leaders who do not have the interest of the people at heart to oppress the people of the region and we are not going to tolerate this anymore. Chevron must reckon with the masses and not those selfish leaders who are not there for the masses and we want them to serve their tenure and get out, but they should not lobby CNL on the MoU. Chevron would soon see the full wrath of the masses if they do not desist from their divide and rule system. Gbaramatu kingdom is peace-loving and we want it to remain so and Chevron must listen to the voice of the people and not those self-seeking individuals,” the group said.
According to the group, “Since the MoU has been in existence for the past six years, Chevron has been conniving with these selfish leaders and their action has led to the untimely death of our three (3) promising young men. We are not in a hurry to forget the incident at Abiteye flow station four years ago when one of our youth was killed by JTF due to oil spillage money and also the company caused the death of two (2) of our youths two years ago at Escravos and now the company has started instigating the people again to cause problem; let those who have served six years leave and Chevron must stop sponsoring the people of the oil-rich region particularly those in the Gbaramatu axis against themselves, the constitution of the Kingdom is there to guide the people.”
The group then advised Chevron that for the sake of its peaceful operations “ implore those selfish and sit-tight leaders to leave at the end of their tenure now that the ovation is loudest and the company should not do any further negotiation on the MoU with these our sit-tight leaders, pending the election of new executives.”
But when contacted, Engr. Femi Odumabo, General Manager, Policy, Government & Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited denied any involvement of the company in the internal affairs of Gbaramatu Kingdom .