By Eseoghene Emuke
Protesting Ugborodo indigenes in the Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have given Chevron Nigeria Limited a four-hour break to evacuate their staff who are trapped at its tank farm since last Sunday.
The protesters comprising youths, women and men, however, warned that they would return to occupy the company’s premises after the four hours grace until their demands were addressed.
The Director of Strategic Communication of the protest and Executive Member of Ugborodo Community Management Committee (UCMC), Mr Alex Eyengho confirmed the development on Thursday evening.
The people of the area are protesting the alleged injustices and marginalisation of their community including in infrastructural and human capital development.
It also lamented the continued neglect of the community land to the hazards of the encroaching ocean, refusal to connect its abundant portable water and excess electricity generated to the community.
Eyengho said, “The peaceful protest is going on steadily as planned and it’s been total shut down, with no entry or exit from Chevron, Ugborodo.
“However, to avoid any form of confusion and hijack of the protest by enemies of Ugborodo progress, it is important to inform and update our comrades and compatriots in the struggle that the security agencies in the area have just rounded off a meeting at Ode-Ugborodo with the Austin Oborogbeyi-led Ugborodo Community Management Committee (UCMC) and some key elders of the community.
“The top security agents pleaded with us to allow some crew boats and personnel trapped inside the Chevron Tank Farm since Sunday to exit the premises. We have since blocked the only entry and exit point for Chevron boats in the area.”
He explained that at the end of the period of grace which begins around 4pm on Wednesday, the community would not allow anyone access into the company until Chevron meet their demands.
“After so much appeals and further consultations, we have agreed to give them four (4) hours only to exit such Chevron crew boats from the premises but never to come back until our demands are met. Their 4 hours grace starts now! At the expiration of the 4 hours grace, the total shutdown SHALL continues indefinitely. Both the security agencies and Chevron have agreed to this UCMC very clear position.
“Suffice it to say that we are giving this concession to Chevron at this point to enable them carry out some vessel movements in response to fire emergency at Ojumole Well Head site.
“We also welcome Diane Christensen, the Supply Chain Management Superintendent in Ugborodo, Escravos who resumed today. Feedbacks from our brothers and sisters in Ugborodo indicate that she is a mother to all”, Eyengho added.