Community protests, blocks oil firm for ‘selling’ jobs to non-indigenes

GodGift Ifunanya
3 Min Read

Angry youths of the Edo community in the Esit Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom state have disrupted the operations of an oil firm, Savannah Energy Limited.

In a protest that began on Monday, the youths of the community accused the company of denying them jobs and ‘selling’ the available job slots to non-indigenes.

They displayed placards with various inscriptions and placed traditional injunctions while chanting war songs condemning the company’s management for shortchanging them.

Among their grouses include job racketeering, the non-increase salary of workers, and refusal to employ graduates from the host community trained by the company’s graduate internship programmes.

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They said that the company through its Superintendent, Chukwudosiem Umuna, has flouted the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the community.

The youth leader of the community, Victor Charles Awai, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said Savannah Enery was most unfair to its host community.

Awai accused a superintendent of the oil firm, Chukwudosiem Umunna of selling off jobs meant for indigenes of Edo to ‘foreigners.’

He said: “It is quite annoying that jobs are sold out to foreigners while the community suffers the brunt from the oil drilling going on here.

The company has consistently refused to employ graduates from our community who have undergone the graduate internship programs but will retain outsiders at the same level.

Jobs meant for indigenous contractors have also been us because they bring in contractors outside when we have the manpower to do it;

“Of course, you know that we are peace-loving but our calmness has become a curse to us. Savannah Energy can’t continue to violate the Local Content Law.

“We demand the immediate increase of salary of persons from the community just as the management treats other staff on the same level/qualifications.”

The State House member for Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Friday Udobia, who spoke with the youths showed solidarity and solicited patience while he sought counsel with the company to resolve their demands.

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