Posted by News Express | 4 November 2020 | 661 times
By HARRIS EMANUEL, Uyo
Commercial activities were paralyzed at Mkpanak, host to Qua Iboe Terminal of ExxonMobil as aggrieved youth from oil rich Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Wednesday took to the streets to vent their spleen, blocked the gate of the American oil giants over alleged marginalisation.
The aggrieved youths chanted ant-establiahment songs, armed with plycards with inscriptions such as “ExxonMobil engage our youths in the deep water project”, “We need light in our community”, “Resourcitate our cottage hospital”.
Others included, “We need good water in our community”, “ExxonMobil clean your environment”, “Our fishermen are suffering because of sea-piracy.”
Speaking, Ibeno Youth Chairman, Christopher Itia, said their grievances stem from the fact that they were marginalized in the scheme of things by both the state government and the oil giants.
According to him, there was no social ammenities such as potable water and electricity in Ibeno community yet the company was making huge profits from its investment in their domain. He said, “We are their host community but they are not treating us as if we are part of them, the multinational oil company had terminated over 500 contracts staff in Ibeno alone.
“ExxonMobil is here, we don’t have portable water, no electricity and we are the host community. Ibeno supposed to be a heaven on earth.
Besides, the protesting youths called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to complete Eket/Ibeno road which had been inaugurated without completion. Itia decried that sea pirates have stopped fishermen from carrying out the businesses, saying that last week, sea pirates stole four outboard engines from fishermen in the waterways.
He lamented that the only cottage hospital in Ibeno was nothing to write home about, as there were no doctors, nurses to attend to patients and equipment for use in the health facility.
“We are pleading with Gov. Emmanuel and Federal Government to step into the matter and help Ibeno community”, he said.
Reacting, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Iniobong Ememobong promised that the state government would look into their griviances as the government has not abandoned Eket/ Ibeno road. He explained that the state government has not marginalized the youths of Ibeno, as according to him, there were opportunities for engagement with the state government, noting that the state government would soon give out jobs to youths of the state.
He said that there were plans for interministerial jobs to be given to the youths of the state.
ExxonMobil’s spokesman, Ogechukwu Udeagha, could not be reached as at press time for comment on the allegations by the youths. (Vanguard)
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