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Protesters at Abiteye Flowstation in Kenyagbene community
By Ebi Perekeme
After eight days of successful blockade of three of the Chevron Nigerian limited oil platforms, by the people of Gbaramatu kingdom, Delta State, in protest of a recent oil spillage in the kingdom, resulting from the organization’s fractured facility and the inability of its management to address the situation, the Benikrukru community has again, issued the American Oil giant an ultimatum to act or get ready for a mother of all protests that will completely paralyze its operations in Abiteye field.
Solomon Eris, the chairman of Benikrukru communities, stated that the stiff actions to be taken against Chevron will include but not limited to, namely; the total shut down of the organization’s source of electricity to their Abiteye station, there will be no movement of vessels or boats in and out of their flowstations. This is in addition to cut off and ensuring 100 percent prevention of food supplies to their personnel at the platforms.
Going by the content of the statement, the communities while lamenting the lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude of Chevron Nigeria Limited Chairman/Managing Director, Mr. Richard Kennedy, to their plight, the community leader declared that the days of grace has eluded Chevron and their communities are therefore ready to fight the International Oil Company to a standstill.
“Chevron has the means but we own the trick,” he submitted.
Continuing, the community leader stressed that “it has been a very painful experience for us and worse, the world has benefitted from our God given natural resource especially the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“They have looked on while we suffer this form of environmental degradation, killing, torture in the hand of Chevron Nigeria Limited in connivance with its management operating in their Warri office who daily feeds their headquarters with wrong information.
“As the Chairman of Benikrukru Communities, a note of warning I have for Chevron Nigeria Limited is that our case would not be like that of Ogoni/Shell experience. For Chevron to think along that axis is to underrate our resolve.
“We, as a people, have resolved to fight this course, with Chevron. That will sound better in the ears of our children yet unborn. We will not want to be addressed or remembered by future historians as a leadership that betrayed their people.
“We would not hesitate if Chevron refuses to address our demands, to approach African Commission on peoples and human rights and the United Nations agencies relevant to this case.
“It is our solemn promise to expose to the world the atrocities daily committed by Chevron in our land,” he stated.
The statement added that if this two days ultimatum which also stands as a final warning to the Chevron’s Group Managing Director and his management team, is not strictly adhered with, the Benikrukru communities with other communities in Gbaramatu kingdom will be left with no other option than to pull out of the existing Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) entered with Chevron Nigeria Limited, few years ago.
“The implication of such a step is that it will set the stage for a full blown war against Chevron and its facilities by the protesters. And it is my belief that the world will not blame us as we have explored every alternative dispute model at our disposal. Instead of reasoning, Chevron has all these years been killing us softly.
“With the present circumstance, Chevron and its management have so far frustrated our efforts. They have also proved beyond reasonable doubt that in the estimation of the right thinking world, they are neither responsive nor responsible organizations.”
He said in part; “By refusing to address the kernel of our demands, Chevron and its management have sown in the wind and they will reap the whirl wind.”