08 December 2015, Warri – The mass sack of back-up staff at Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State, has sparked off tension in some of the company’s host communities, as they have vowed to go to any length to reverse the development.
Mr Clement Erewa and others, who briefed newsmen in Warri over the matter, on behalf of the host communities comprising Ubeji, Ifie-Kporo, Aja-Etan and Ijala-Ikeren, all in Warri South Local Government Area, said: “WRPC breached an earlier agreement with us when it included almost all 200 of our indigenes among the backup staff recently relieved of their jobs.
“The company agreed not to touch our indigenes. Information reaching us indicates that the order to lay-off workers from our communities in WRPC was given by the Minister of State for Petroleum/Group Managing Director of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu.
“This revelation has gone round the various communities causing tension among the people. Our patience has been overstretched and we are prepared to vehemently resist, by any means possible, this act of marginalization.”
The communities said their indigenes working with WRPC have been working “under inhuman conditions” over the years, receiving meagre wages and delayed payment without concern to address the lingering request to convert them to permanent staff in order to earn befitting pay.
There have been series of protests at the WRPC following recent disengagement of casual staff which include several host community indigenes.