Umbrella body of graduates of Itsekiri extraction across the world, the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, NAIG has accused the Federal Government of aiding what it termed, oppression of Itsekiri host communities and the Niger Delta people, by oil companies.
National President of NAIG, Comrade Collins Oritsetimeyin Edema, made the accusation on behalf of aggrieved graduates of Itsekiri extraction in a statement yesterday.
The statement said: “The Federal Government is always quick to deploy military men to harass and intimidate the locals whenever they make legitimate agitations and the actions affect the implementation of Nigerian Content Act in terms of job recruitment and award of contracts.
“The NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture is hiding under the guise of equal opportunities to flout the Local Content Act, averred that the multinational oil and gas companies are deliberately making Itsekiri best brains unproductive.”
NIAG asked, how come graduates from states who could not meet JAMB cut-off marks and were admitted into the universities as educationally disadvantaged persons, will perform far better than graduates who met JAMB cut-off marks and are from states that ranked amongst the best five in Nigeria?”
While alleging that “NNPC and its subsidiaries are being run by a cartel that has vowed to relegate the Itsekiri people” who are “the most intelligent in Sub-Sahara Africa and produces at least 32% of Nigeria’s oil and gas”, NIAG accused Chevron of shutting out Itsekiri people from the “2,000 available job slots for Escravos EGTL Turn-Around Maintenance in Warri South –West Local Government Area, Delta State”.Comrade Edema declared that NAIG is fully in support of agitation by indigenes of Ijala, Aja-Etan, Ifie and Ubeji in Warri South Local Government Area, against NNPC and its subsidiaries over alleged marginalization in job placements as well as contract awards, stressing that Itsekiri graduates will not “allow PAN OCEAN to do the planned hook-up of the Escravos Export Platform, without giving Itsekiri graduates and youths from Ugborodo the employment quota due us as host communities. We will resist them with every legal tool available”.