DELTA, Nigeria – Indigenes of Benikrukru Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over an alleged inhuman treatment, oppression and marginalisation by Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL.
While bearing placards with inscriptions such as “Chevron, recognize our welders and fitters,” and Chevron”, “stop the divide and rule system”, they demanded a halt to all forms of environmental degradation of their communities.
They also warned Chevron Nigeria Limited not to tamper with the Abiteye Oil field Security Houseboat.
In a letter to the Managing Director of CNL, Mr. Jeffrey Ewing, the Chairman and Secretary-General of Benekrukru community, Boan Solomon Eris and Comrade Kingsley Ukulu, who led the peaceful protest demanded contract labour and catering services to indigenes of the Community,
Apart from the request for an urgent recruitment of qualified indigenes of the community by CNL, the leaders also demanded contracts for crane and forklift, supply of in-house equipment, diesel and marine transport services.
“The main drive for this protest is all about the movement of the house boat. The houseboat is the only material that Chevron released to us to have income monthly.
“As we speak now, they are about to move the houseboat away which will leave the community in hunger. So, we are saying that the houseboat should remain,” Boan Eris pleaded.
Women leader of the Community, Madam Elizabeth Lagbo also warned that there will be no peace henceforth in the area if CNL refuses to give employment to their women and youths.
A representative of Abiteye, an extension of Benikrukru, Austin Ojo, who said the people have taken their destiny in their hands, also implored CNL to heed the demands of the people to avert a shutdown of its facility.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Abiteye Platform Supervisor, CNL, Mr. Francis Obodo, who addressed the protesters, appreciated their peaceful nature and assured them he would pass their message across to the appropriate quarters.
“I thank you for this peaceful protest. I assure you that Chevron is a socially responsible company. Whatever demands you have brought in this morning, I’m assuring you that I will communicate it to the appropriate quarters and in no time, you will hear from us.”