By Onome Oghenetega
Palpable tension is growing at the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), operator of the Warri Refinery in Delta State over perfected plans by the management of the WRPC to chase out “Support Staff” who are employed from the refinery host communities on Monday (tomorrow).
WARRI TODAY learnt that the development which is likely to result to a serious melee between the management and the host communities is coming on the cry by the “Support Staff” to be regularized as permanent having spent several years contributing to the development of the firm.
It was learnt that security operatives have been drafted to the refinery premises to carry out the management directive by declining the Support Staff also known as casual staff entry to resume work tomorrow (Monday) April 8.
Alarmed by the development, the host communities comprising Ekpan, Ubeji and other neighbouring communities, have urged the Federal and the Delta State government to hold the management of WRPC responsible for any act of lawlessness on Monday.
The host communities, in a communiqué signed by Messers Eyewu Omeyen, Okpako Victor and Richmond Gogo accused the management of Warri Refinery of trying to use force to keep them as “perpetual slaves” in their own land.
The statement posited that the management is bent on coercing the Support Staff to adopt its proposed management decision of continuous “modernized slavery” tactics.
It noted that WRPC hopes to achieve its aim with the use of fierce-looking Security Operatives to keep them out of the plants’ premises.
“We the support staff remain resolute in our decision of unconditional conversion from WRPC/ NNPC management that felt it is wise to keep us in perpetual slavery”, the statement stressed.
It further called on the attention of Nigerians to the looming danger, saying that the host communities should not be blamed for any lawlessness which they alleged is to be instigated by management of WRPC.
However, efforts by WARRI TODAY to get official reaction from the Manager, Public Affairs Department (PAD) of WRPC, Veronica Okolo, on the development was unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.