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Published On: Tue, Dec 11th, 2012

Angry Ijaw Youths Chase out Chevron Workers, Seize Pipelines Project

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By Christopher Odamah, Warri
Angry Ijaw youths have seized Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) Gas Pipelines Project after chasing away workers from the site, claiming 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. The youths were also furious over the failure of Chevron to provide basic social amenities for their community.
Reports had it 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 were not comfortable with the GMoU and the foot dragging of Chevron to sand fill Benikrukru Community, pile it, and sweep the canals in their community.
They also protested what they described as the failure of the American oil giant to define their stake in the Regional Development Council.
According to the youths, their representatives from Benikrukru Community who signed the GMoU never got the approval of the community to do so, adding that beside the GMoU, Chevron failed to provide the community necessary social economic amenities..
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.
And they made good this threat last Friday when they seized the Multi-billion naira Gas Pipelines Project of the oil giant being handled by an indigenous firm. It was learnt that the protesting youths arrived the site with several boats and ordered all workers from site but no one was hurt.
Chairman of Benikrukru Community, Chief Jeffrey Ojogun, when contacted, described the action as a tip of the iceberg in view of what will happen to other facilities of the company in the coming days.He claimed that Chevron 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.”

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