By Emma Amaize
WARRI â€” YOUTHS under the auspices of Tebu-Biri Youth Forum, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta State, have threatened to disrupt the operations of the multi-billion dollarÂ Escravos Gas-to-Liquid, EGTL, projectÂ over alleged denial of jobs by Egbema-Gbaramatu Development Council.
The project was created for such purpose by project-executor, Chevron Nigeria Limited.
But in a quick reaction, a member of the development council, Chief Godspower Gbenakemei, told Vanguard yesterday that â€œjobs in the council are given based on availability.
â€œGbaramatu block, which is just one of the 14 communities that make up the council has over 44 villages and towns. This year, at least, two Tebujor people have gained employment in EGTLthrough the council, outside skillsâ€™ acquisition, training opportunities and scholarships.â€
The forum, comprising youths from Oporoza, Ijahala, Opuede, Opuedebubor Okpele-ama and Ikpopo communities, is led by Michael Itima.
Its spokesman, Nanakumo Boi, told Vanguard thatÂ â€œall the youths of the host communities in Tebu-Biri are disenchanted with the activities of Egbema-Gbaramtu Development Council and if our grievances are not addressed, we will be forced to take steps to stop work on the project. â€
We are tired with both Chevron and the council, they should be called to order.â€
He said youths from Igbo, Isoko and Urhobo speaking areas were being patronized, while they were roaming about jobless, warring that the youths have borne the marginalization for a long time and were no longer ready to continue to swallow the bitter pill being forced down their throats.
But Chief Gbenakemei of Egbema-Gbaramatu Development Council denied the allegation, saying â€œcurrently, there is teachersâ€™ staff quarters project going on in the same community. If others from same bloc have these same opportunities, they would have been grateful instead of resorting to blackmail.
â€œHowever, this same matter came up in our executive meeting of the Gbaramatu bloc where the Tebujor community chairman was also present and the chairman was expected to brief them. Suffice it say that the vice chairman of Gbaramatu bloc executive is from Tebujuor community.
â€œWe do not deal with youths but through community executive. If they have issues, they should route such through the proper channel.â€