By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”HUNDREDS of ex-militants from all the major camps in the Niger Delta yesterday, for several hours, disrupted operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) along the ever busy NPA/Effurun expressway in Warri, Delta State, demanding for employment, skills acquisition programmes and other human development projects.
The former militants, under the auspices of Niger Delta Welfare Committee (NDWC), bore placards, some of which read:Â Â â€œAs ex-militants, we want peace but provide us employmentâ€, â€œex-militants want employment, skills acquisition programmeâ€, â€œwe are tired of violence, we want employment,â€ among others.
The angry former war lords were addressed by Mr. Tony Emeagere of the Public Affairs Department who, Vanguard learnt, pleaded with them for patience to enable their matter be placed before the companyâ€™s management .
The leaders of the protesters, however, did not budge as they claimed to have written several letters to the company before embarking on the peaceful protest and continued the chanting of war songs outside the companyâ€™s gate.
The protest almost turned violent when one of the protesters used his Toyota car to block the entrance of the company, but for the maturity exhibited by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Eluha Clever, who tactfully placated the ex-militants to remove the car and allow free movement in and out of the premises.
Chairman of NDWC, Mr. Balas Ometoruwa, told newsmen that they embarked on the protest against the multinational oil company, to make them aware of the need to provide them with employment.
He said full employment opportunity for the former militants would distance them from their weapons and make them useful to the society as a whole, adding that â€œwe need this process to engage them in meaningful work.â€
Vanguard authoritatively gathered that Delta State government has already stepped into the matter, with a view to addressing the issues raised.