By Egufe Yafugborhi
WARRI—PROTESTERS occupying Chevron Nigeria Limited’s Escravos facility in Ugborodo, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, have said that they expect today’s peace meeting with the Department of State Security, DSS, Police and the Delta State Government to address and resolve the key issues in dispute.
The siege to Chevron’s facility entered the sixth day yesterday with no sign of the teeming protesters leaving as they vowed not to shift ground until the oil major recognises the Interim Management Committee, IMC, instituted by the community as its administrative authority.
Former Chairman, Ugborodo Community Trust and a resolute supporter of the protest, Pa Sandys Uvwoh, said of today’s meeting in Asaba that they expect two key issues to be resolved at the end of the meeting.
He said: “The people did say that they do not want any peace meeting outside Chevron or Ugborodo boundaries, but we can express faith in the Police and DSS. We can’t say the same about Delta State Government that is bent on denying us our right to chose our community leaders. We will be at Asaba.’
He assured that the protesters will vacate Chevron yard as soon as their expectations were met. Also, youths of Ugborodo Community, Warri North Local Government Area, have decried the alleged marginalizaation of the community by Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The youths, in a statement by Ofe Nene, National Youth Chairman of Ugborodo community, alleged that Chevron has continued to undermine and short-change the community in all their operations despite the fact that Ugborodo is host to several oil wells and facilities.
The youths lamented that Chevron was enslaving members of the community who they employed as casual workers to the extent that they have not enjoyed a single increment in their meager salaries for over 15 years.
They explained that “Although our community indigenes do most of the jobs at Chevron tank farm, none of them has been staffed for over 15 years and none has been given benefit as it is with other staff of the company from other parts of the country.”