SOCIO-CULTURAL organisation in Akwa Ibom State, Ulok Ulok People’s Assembly, UUPA, has called on the management of EzxonMobil to recall 1,000 sacked staff in the state. A statement signed by the president of the group, Mr Harry Moses, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo, said that the recent sack of thousands of both contract and regular staff of ExxonMobil on the pretext of recession was unacceptable. “This has affected not only few indigenes of Ibeno in your employment but also the entire Akwa Ibom. Our demand is that, your company should recall all the affected workers of Akwa Ibom origin for the purpose of peace and tranquillity,” the statement read. “Our investigation shows that new hands have been employed already by ExxonMobil, instead of calling back our sons and daughters who had been laid-off.We demand that this wickedness be stopped now and appropriate actions taken to re-absorbed the affected Akwa Ibom indigenes,” it said. The statement also regretted that Ibeno community had received zero consideration from ExxonMobil since inception of the company’s operation in Ibeno land and sea. “It is not cumbersome for us to point out that before the advent of oil operations in Qua Iboe Terminal, the people of Ibeno, your host community, were predominately fishermen. “Now dominant species of fishes within our territorial waters have all been destroyed or driven away by oil operations by your company, thus depleting the stock,” the statement further said. It alleged that the company deliberately put in place policies to frustrate Ibeno community and the entire Akwa Ibom people. “It is therefore sacrilegious, dehumanising and contemptuous for Ibeno people to be meted with the type of treatment they have receiving from the very company that perpetrates those havoc on the means of livelihood. “We are aware of the hazards Ibeno people face each day as a result of your company’s operations here in our land. But what do we gain in return for these hazards? The situation is pathetic,” it added. It therefore urged ExxonMobil to put in place adequate and effective measures to cushion the adverse effects of oil exploitation in Ibeno land and sea. It would be recalled that the sacked workers were paid one month salary upfront without any entitlements from the company. Responding to the development, the Media and Communication manager at ExxonMobil, Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha, who confirmed the sack, said the company had adjusted its business in response to challenges in the sector.

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