05 June 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Ijaw youths have issued a 21 day ultimatum to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), a subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, over what they described as the alleged refusal of the company to employ youths from its Egbemo-Angalabiri host communities in the Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa State.
Rising from an expanded meeting of the six clans in Ekeremor and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) central zone held in Yenagoa, the youths threatened to cripple activities at the company base in Warri, Delta State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State if the oil giant fails to meet their demand.
The position of the youths contained in a resolution signed by Rawlings Ezetu and Dennis Ofiyou, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) central zone, Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively and representatives of the various clans is coming on the heels of the alleged refusal of the company to accede to the pleas of prominent indigenes of the area including the royal fathers to employ qualified graduates from the area.
Lamenting the alleged insensitivity of the company to indigenes of its host communities, the IYC specifically cited the case of four youths from Egbemo-Angalabiri on batch 13 2007/2007 Shell intensive training programme 2 (SITP 2) who after successfully completing their training in electrical/production operation and mechanical/production operation in 2008 were yet to be offered employment by the company.
“We are ready to face Shell as they are ready to kill and imprisoned us again as their usual business,” the youths warned insisting that the company had not employed any of their people since it began exploration activities in their domain in the seventies till date.
“Egbemo-Angalabiri domain in Bayelsa State is the highest oil producing community in which the state government derived her 13 per cent drivable from coffers of the federal government as an oil producing state,” they declared.
According to them, aside Agip oil company alone having 2 flow stations, 21 well heads with production capacity of 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the SPDC has 47 well heads, thirteen clusters wells producing 118,000 barrels of crude oil and hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of unused gas being flared into the atmosphere thereby polluting the environment and adversely affecting the lives of their people.
They queried, “is it when oil stops flowing with the packing away of SPDC that our employable men and women would work? Why has SPDC not complied with the local content act or has peace, tranquility not come to stay in the Niger Delta with the introduction of the amnesty programme?
The Ijaw body which said it has no other option but to disrupt SPDC operation in protest against its allege insensitivity to their plight warned that no amount of intimidation would make its member backed down until their demand is met.