Work grounded in Chevron as Ijaw women lock out workers
From EMMANUEL OGOIGBE, Warri
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Activities were grounded at Chevron yesterday in Warri, Delta State as scores of Ijaw women locked out workers of the multibillion naira company in protest against alleged marginalization and inhuman treatment. The protesters from Kolu Ama clan, in Bayelsa State said the American oil giant since 1953 had made life miserable for the oil bearing community and vowed not to leave the office premises until the misdeed against them was addressed.
The protesters, who were half-naked carried placards with the inscriptions, ‘Chevron must go, we don’t need your food’, ‘since 1953 Chevron has been operating in the area there is no visible progress, no meaningful development’, we want World Heath Organization to come to our aid.’ Others inscription were “we are suffering, we have no potable water, no light, many lives have been lost as a result of Chevron’s insensitivity to our plight”, we are fed up with the divide and rule tactics of Chevron.”
Speaking, the leader of the group, Mrs. Epowotei Edi, told newsmen that they decided to take the action because Chevron had refused to listen to their complaints.“We are not leaving this premises until our issue is solved. Chevron has been operating in our area since 1953 and there is nothing to show that Kolu-Ama is an oil producing area,” said the leader, who is also the wife of Kolu-Ama King community.
“Most pathetic is that Chevron used dynamite while prospecting for oil but after five days, angry wave took over the whole area and devastated the community and it’s source of livelihood,” she said bitterly. According to her, each time there was oil spill, Chevron in its deceitful manner would bring food only without adequate compensation, lamenting that recently there was gas explosion in the area, which destroyed the community source of livelihood, yet Chevron was trying to cover-up the massive spillage.