11 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Warri — Angry Ijaw youths took over Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL’s Gas Pipelines Project after
chasing away workers from site.
The youths said their action was necessitated by the recently renewed Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU, between Chevron, Egbema/Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation and Delta State Government as well as Chevron’s failure to provide them with basic amenities.
Numbering over 500, the youths stormed the 16-inch gas pipelines being constructed for Chevron from the Abiteye Flow-station to Escravos, seized it and chased away the workers.
The youths said they were not comfortable with the GMoU and foot-dragging of Chevron to sand-fill Benikrukru community, piling of the community, sweeping of the canals in their community and their stake in the regional development council.
They insisted that their representatives from Benikrukru community, who signed the GMoU never got the approval of the community to do so, adding that besides the GMoU, Chevron failed to provide the community with amenities needed badly.
It will be recalled that at the wake of the signing of the GMoU, members of the Benikrukru community after an emergency meeting on November 13, 2012, sanctioned those who signed the GMoU and threatened to mobilise women and children in the days ahead to cripple the Abiteye Flow-station and other facilities owned by Chevron.
They made good this threat, weekend, when they seized the multi-billion naira gas pipelines project of Chevron being handled by an indigenous firm.
It was learnt that the protesting youths arrived the site with several boats and ordered the workers out from site, though 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 had been planned for other facilities owned by the company in days to come.
He claimed that Chevron was trying to cause disaffection and disunity in Benikrukru community, imploring the company to stop meddling in the affairs of the people in the interest of peace.