By Ruth Oromoni
Arising from an emergency meeting held recently in Warri by the Gbaramatu Youth Council (GYC) worldwide, the apex youths body in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta state, the youth body has said it will resist the alleged attempts of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to involve third parties that were not part of the oil spill incidence of 17th February, 2021.
This is coming hours after the communities chairmen of Gbaramatu Kingdom issued a stern warning to the management of the American oil giant to thread carefully and to beware of certain elements in the company seeking the benefit of their tribesmen not resident in the spill area nor took part in the struggle to make CNL take responsibilities.
According to the GYC President Comrade Shadrach Onitsha Ebikeme, who spoke with press men, “Chevron should not allow itself to be used by elements within its fold to create problems for the company through the enthronement of unethical practices in its bid to favour certain groups of persons outside Gbaramatu Kingdom in relation to the spill.
“Chevron should be professional in the course of ensuring that justice is served by it doing the right thing, which in this case is to conduct a Joint Investigation and Verification with stakeholders from Gbaramatu affected communities as against any other outsiders as it regards the incidence of the spill.”
Comrade Ebikeme also said the youth body have cause to believe that some shady activities from Chevron is in the offing citing the denial of the company of the Utonana flowstation spill when it first occurred.
“We have just entered the month of April and for a spill which occurred in February and was vehemently denied by Chevron despite evidence to the contrary, and with no JIV exercise being done up till now, speaks volumes and ill of a so called global oil giant that ought to be well abreast of global best practices in tandem with Sustainable Development Goals.
“I think Chevron has let down the Gbaramatu people and has shown that our safety and wellbeing is never their interest,” he added.
The GYC President therefore call on the American oil giant to do the needful without creating a storm in the process as such tactics will be resisted by the people.
“In line with the mandate of the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs as led by Chief Ambassador Godspower Gbenekama (JP), we urge Chevron to, as a matter of urgency, carry out the much awaited JIV with stakeholders from the affected communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, the incidence of the spill.
“We will resist any attempts by officials of Chevron who hide behind the company to foster the interests of certain parties or groups that are outside the Gbaramatu Kingdom area. And we will not sell our birthrights to any ethnic group, or allow the problems created by Chevron for our people, who are suffering and deprived of basic amenities, to become an avenue for others to enrich themselves,” he warned.