From Elo Edremoda, Warri
Residents of Benikrukru in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South-West Local Government in Delta State have called on Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to shelve plans of relocating the Abiteye Field Security House Boat.
Leaders, elders, women and youths of Benikrukru stormed Abiteye Oil Field yesterday to protest the ‘inhuman treatment, oppression and marginalisation of the people’.
Abiteye Security House Boat is located at Abiteye Oil Field, which produces 42,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Ltd own 60 and 40 per cent shares of it.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions like ‘Chevron, recognise our welders and fitters’ and ‘Chevron, stop the divide and rule system’. They chanted solidarity songs and demanded a stop to environmental degradation.
Chairman and Secretary-General of the community Boan Eris and Kingsley Ukulu, who led the protest, urged CNL’s Managing Director Jeffrey Ewing to contract labour and catering services to indigenes.
They demanded contracts for crane and forklift supply, supply of in-house equipment, diesel and marine transport service.
“The main drive for this protest is about movement of the house boat. The house boat is the only material that Chevron released to us to make income monthly. As we speak, they are about to move the house boat away which will leave the community in hunger. We are saying the house boat should remain,” Eris pleaded.
Women’s leader Elizabeth Lagbo warned that there will be no peace in the area if CNL refused to employ their women and youths.
A representative of Abiteye, an extension of Benikrukru, Austin Ojo, appealed to Chevron to heed their demands to avert a shutdown of the facility.
Representative of Abiteye Platform Supervisor Francis hailed the people for their peaceful protest, promising to take their message to the appropriate quarters.
“I thank you for this peaceful protest. I assure you that Chevron is socially responsible. Whatever demands you have brought will be communicated to the appropriate quarters and in no time, you will hear from us,” he added.
Read the original article on The Nation