Angry Ijaw youths numbering over 500 at the weekend threatened to seize Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas pipelines project in Warri South-west Local Government Area of Delta State, after disrupting operation briefly and chasing away workers from the site.
It was gathered that the youths stormed the 16-inch gas pipelines being constructed by an indigenous contractor for Chevron from its Abiteye Flow station to Escravos.
The action of the youths was in protest against the recently renewed Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between Chevron, Egbema/Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation and Delta State Government.
The fierce-looking youths said they were opposed to the GMoU and the foot-dragging of Chevron to sand fill Benikrukru Community, pile it, and sweep the canals in their community.
Chairman of Benikrukru Community, Chief Jeffrey Ojogun, said in a statement that the action of the youths was a sign of what could happen in the coming days.
He accused the company of trying to cause disaffection and disunity in Benikrukru Community, and urged it to stop meddling in the affairs of the 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. Apart from the issue of the vexed GMoU, we are demanding 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,” he said.
The protesting youths, who arrived the gas project site with several boats, said they were also protesting what they described as the failure of the company to define their stake in the Regional Development Council.
According to the youths, their representatives from Benikrukru Community who signed the GMoU did not get the approval of the community.
At the wake of the signing of the GMoU, members of the Benikrukru Community after an emergency meeting held November 13, 2012, had sanctioned those who signed the GMoU.
They also threatened to mobilise women and children to cripple the Abiteye Flow station and other facilities of the company