By Chioma Onuegbu & Emmanuel Ayungbe
Uyo—GOV-ERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has warned youths in oil producing communities in the state against confrontation and disruption of operations of ExxonMobil Nigeria, while agitating for the relocation of the company’s headquarters to the state.
Emmanuel, who gave the warning during the coronation of the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, HRM Owong Effiong Archianga, advised the youths not to give the oil firm reasons not to relocate its headquarters to its operational base.
He said that since he was leading the campaign for the relocation, he would want the youths not to do anything that would jeopardise the process and efforts already in top gear.
He said: ‘’I am in the forefront of the campaign for the relocation of ExxonMobil’s headquarters to Akwa Ibom State. I have already opened discussions with relevant stakeholders and management of the company. The youths must, therefore, understand this move and stop blocking the company’s gate. You must allow workers of the company access to the gate.”
The governor congratulated HRM Archianga on his grand coronation, expressing confidence that the monarch will continue to use his position as a respected traditional ruler to foster peace and unity in his community and the state as a whole.
In his remarks, the Effiong Archianga promised to work for the good of Ibeno people.
The royal father, however, urged the Federal and state governments to provide adequate security to Ibeno community considering its strategic location and contribution to the national and state economies
“It is also our wish that palaces of monarchs be properly guarded since such places often attract hoodlums and criminals who view monarchs not only as custodians of customs and traditions but as links to political authority.
“It is also my humble appeal that ExxonMobil and other multinational companies should review the Memorandum of Understanding with Ibeno, their host community. They should also return Mobil Marine Department to its original place, the QIT jetty, Iwuokpom, in Ibeno,” he said.
“The government should consider and set up appropriate machinery to ensure that justice is done in this regard. I want to also appeal that 10 percent of oil derivation and excess crude fund from Federation Account be paid directly to Niger Delta communities that crude oil is derived from, including Ibeno while 13 percent derivation fund meant for states in the region should be reviewed upward,” he stated.