SaharaReporters has learnt how US oil giant Chevron has disrupted the ranks of the Benikrukru community leadership in Delta State who have been demanding for better living conditions from the company.
For more than two weeks youth and residents of Itsekiri and Ijaw communities have barricaded themselves at the premises of Chevron at Escravos and Warri over breach of social responsibility agreements made by the company.
In statement by Victor Eseimieghan, the Chairman of Benikrukru Community, says the company is using divide and rule tactics to grind down their demands and cause disaffection between them.
The full statement can be read below:
The attention of the Benikrukru Community, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State has been drawn to a statement issued by the Chairman and Secretary of the Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, Mr. Michael Johnny and Jude Ukori respectively and published in the Vanguard newspaper of Friday, August 19, 2016 calling on Chevron to disregard the ultimatum issued by Benikrukru Community because it does not enjoy the support of the community and that security agents should be on alert. They also said that if the Benikrukru Community has grievances, they should channel them through the EGCDF. Ordinarily we would have ignore the Johnny led EGCDF; however we have decided to respond to emphasis our resolve.
The leadership of the Benikrukru Community wishes to insists and state that we stand by the ultimatum issued to Chevron Nigeria Limited to shut down Abiteye field if the grievances of the community are not addressed. This position was reaffirmed at an emergency meeting of the community held on Friday, the 19th day of August, 2016. We wish to also state that the leadership and people of Benikrukru Community, just like any other community in Chevron operational area are not answerable to the Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation.
The EGCDF has no business with the running of Benikrukru Community and we strongly advise Chevron to stop their divide and rule strategy. There is no amount of divide and rule by Chevron that would stop us from fighting for our legitimate rights. Michael Johnny and Jude Ukori are not the spokespersons of Benikrukru community and should allow Benikrukru people to speak for themselves. The demands of the Benikrukru people are beyond the powers of the EGCDF. In any case, contrary to Mr. Johnny’s claim, the EGCDF has not carried out any developmental project in Benikrukru community in the past three years under Johnny leadership.
The agitations of the Benikrukru Community for compliance with local content, dispute over land ownership, unresolved spill issues, employments, and other associated benefits are legitimate demands and the security agents have been put on notice of Chevron’s maltreatment of the Community. We call on the Michael Johnny led EGCDF to face its business and not interfere in the affairs of Benikrukru Community with Chevron. If Chevron ignores our ultimatum, they would be doing so at their own risk.
Mr. Victor E. Eseimieghan,
Mr. Boan Roland Ojogun,