By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
A group, under the auspices of Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) has threatened to make oil producing communities housing the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited( NPDC) unsafe for operation should the company fails to employ a minimum of one thousand youths within two weeks
The group also vowed to take legal action against the oil exploring companies after the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum
Meanwhile vehicular movement along the famous Sapele road came to a stand still for hours while the entrance gates to the company were equally barricaded by the irate youths dressed in red attire with various inscribed placards
Spoke person for the group, Curtis Eghoso Ugbo said there are over sixty two flowing oil wells in host communities in the State including Ologbo where NPDC, Pan Ocean control over nineteen to thirty oil wells respectively without corresponding social responsibilities to the communities since they commenced operations in 1988
They also demanded a comprehensive lists of the number of Edo youths, both skill and unskilled so far employed by the oil exploring companies in the State
“We want to categorically make clear to the Federal and State Governments including the oil producing companies in Benin Kingdom, that where our demands are not looked into adequately, we shall assume legal court process while we deploy our Militant Wing to resist and stop the taking of our crude oil of the host oil producing communities in Benin Kingdom”
“We cannot be victim in our land . We demand that the Ijaws and Itsekiri should stay clear. Our youths must be employed by NPDC they have been operating here since 1988. We have over 200 oil wells flowing and the Binis are suffering.
“We own the oil, let them show us their list of cooperate responsibility in terms of bursary, employment, sports development scholarship, socio infrastructures, health care service. If they are not ready let them take this company out of Benin”, they demanded.
Attempt by our correspondent to have the reaction of the NPDC management however failed as top management staff were said not to be around, but an inside source has it that the company will certainly get back to the protesters on their demands before the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum