A’Ibom ex-militants: we’ll no longer tolerate marginalization by oil companies

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Former militants from Akwa Ibom have said they will no longer tolerate continued marginalization and unfair treatment meted to oil-bearing/host communities in the state by multinational oil companies.

They accused oil giants such ExxonMobil, Addax, Moni Pulo, Chevron, Century, Total E&P among others of depriving and marginalizing their host communities despite environmental destruction and health hazards caused by their operations.

ex-militants lamented that oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom State, have benefitted very little from these oil companies as some realities of life in these areas are nothing to write home about.

ex-agitators under the aegis of Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV) in a press release obtained by our correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday listed 15 demands which the oil companies must meet before they would be allowed to operate further in the state.

NDV in the press release signed by ‘General’ Ekpo Ekpo, ‘Capt’ Nsidibe Etim, ‘Major’ Patrick Itrechio and ‘Capt’ Etetim Okung threatened to attack oil facilities and personnel of the oil firms operating in the state if their demands are not met.

They demanded relocation of the operational bases of the oil firms to Akwa Ibom State and payment of taxes and royalties to the State government

press release states in part, ”We demand an extension of the Company’s philanthropy to the suffering communities in Akwa Ibom State where they derive most of their wealth from, through donations, empowerments, etc.

”Appointment of Directors from Akwa Ibom State into Boards of the Oil companies, some of them who must be indigenes of the host communities.

”Employment of 60% workers to be drawn from Akwa Ibom State 5. 60% of contracts/ supplies to local contractors and award of 300 secondary school scholarships annually to indigenes of state

‘Award of 100 undergraduate scholarships annually to indigenes of state, award of 20 overseas scholarships annually to indigenes of the state and award of 50 post graduate scholarships annually to indigenes of the state.

”We also need Youth Empowerment / Skills Acquisition programme to 220 youths of the State, annually as well as women Empowerment programme (Fishing/Trading) to 150 women of the state, annually.

”Construction of Jetties and provision of potable/suitable drinking water Provision of Standard Health Institutions and modern facilities in the state.

”Budget of N100 million annually for Infrastructural development in the state These demands and other items that are part of the companies’ corporate social responsibility must be met as soon as possible to avoid any possible conflict.”