Hundreds of youths on Monday morning barricaded the main entrance into the Port Harcourt office of multinational oil firm, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) with a vow not to leave until their demands are met
The youths, led by the chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Rivers State, Chijioke Ihunwo, were protesting alleged marginalisation of indigenes of the state in the area of employment.
The protesters, who came with pots and other cooking utensils, also accused the oil company of redeploying an indigene of the state, Dennis Mazi, as divisional manager and replacing him with a non-indigene.
Speaking with Our Correspondent, NYCN chairman, Ihunwo said NAOC has made it a policy to neither employ youths of the state nor give contracts to them.
He said: “We are here because the Agip Oil Company is not treating the host communities very well. Secondly, the transfer of Barrister Dennis Mazi from here (Port Harcourt) to Abuja and bringing of someone who is not from an oil producing state to take over from him, is an error.
“We want the management of Agip Oil Company to come and address these issues immediately. The man who was brought to take over Dennis Mazi’s position is not a Rivers man. We want the management of the company to please, come and address us on the way forward.”
Meanwhile, the Swamp and Land Area Landlords of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, have threatened to shut down the operations of the multinational oil company in the Niger Delta region over alleged marginalisation of the people.
The landlords, who accused Agip of embarking on ‘ethnic cleansing’ against its host communities, lamented the alleged persistent and continuous marginalisation of people from the swamp and land areas of the company operations in its managerial cadre of the company.
The group, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt, drew the attention of the state governors of the NAOC operation areas to the marginalisation of their people and equally put the security agencies on notice over the untoward happenings in the company against them.
The statement, which was signed by Onisoya James Odum and Temple Sambo, chairman and secretary of the group respectively, threatened to declare a force majure on the company’s operations should the a cabal within the company don’t rescind its decision by reinstating and recalling the affected staff.
The landlords stated that in the course of its protest to NAOC office in Port Harcourt in January this year, it noted that some of the positions within the NAOC management system have been out of limit to people from their area.