By Chioma Onuegbu
UYO—YOUTHS of Ibeno community in Akwa Ibom State have handed oil giant, Exxon Mobil, a seven- day ultimatum to honour a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, it signed with the community on matters of employment.
In a statement signed by the chairman, Amalgamation of Ibeno Youth Presidents Forum, Mr. Alphonsus Umoh and others, they warned that they would not hesitate to disrupt the operations of the multinational oil firm if it failed to revisit the MoU at the end of the ultimatum.
They alleged that the oil giant had reneged on its agreement to concede 30 per cent employment slot to the community, a situation they said had hampered peace in the area.
“In spite of the Federal Government directives to oil companies to partner with their host communities for socio economic interest and benefit, ExxonMobil has continued to relegate our communities to the background. We will ground the company operations if nothing is done at the expiration of this seven day ultimatum,” they said.
Their words: “The oil company had agreed to accord the communities 30 per cent of employment offer but it reneged in the agreement. It could not offer the communities even up to five per cent of the offer.
“Be that as it may, we shall continue to maintain peace and exercise patience for seven days believing that truce shall ensue for dialogue and amicable resolution
“And the current economic recession should not be seen as an excuse to dehumanize our people and subject us to untold hardship, considering the fact that our means of livelihood, far pushed to extinction is caused by your oil exploitation,” they added.
The youth body further urged the oil giant to reinstate indigenes of the area recently disengaged from its employ.