Members of Agbidiama Community Youth Council, host of Opukushi, Tunu and Clough Creek Flow-stations in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, yesterday disrupted activities at Opukushi flow-station.
President of Ekeremor community youths, Torke Ekpetun, said shortly after the action on Thursday the youths were yearning for dialogue to resolve the face-off.
He explained that the protest was carried out as a result of the refusal of the oil servicing companies operating in the area to meet their development obligations to the community mandate.
Ekpetun said the obligations include provision of employment and empowerment of community people, engagement of a non-indigenous firm by Shell for catering services and taking care of community leaders and elders.
He said that the failure to recognise the leadership of youth as the dully constituted authority for employment in the area and other matters connected with oil and gas operations.
The youth leader also berated the neglect of the welfare and wellbeing of the youth executives since 2018 by Clinthwealth Nigeria Limited, an oil service farm providing services at the oilfield operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
He said that maltreatment of workers on site, failure to pay community workers end of contract bonus as provided for in the employment contract is not acceptable.
Ekpetun also said that the refusal of oil services firm retained to work at the oilfields by SPDC to implement workers annual salary increment at the end of every work circle was worrisome.
According to the youth president, the refusal of SPDC and other firms operating in the area to donate palliatives as part of their corporate social responsibilities during the COVID-19, lockdown was regrettable.
He also regretted the failure to secure Freedom To Operate, FTOs, for contractors before coming to site for execution of jobs has denied the community accruable benefits.
Ekpetun called on the companies involved to retrace its steps in the interest of peace by according the host communities what is due them.
However, when contacted over the issue at its oilfields in Bayelsa, SPDC’s Media Relation manager, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, said that he would come up with a position soon.
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