…Says he was on the side of the Spy Police from the Beginning

The Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), ExxonMobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited branch, Comrade Razaq Obe has commended the Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo for the role he played in resolving the crisis between Spy police and ExxonMobile Companies in Nigeria which lasted for 22 years.

In an interview with newsmen, Comrade Obe said that the spy police matter is one of the biggest test in the history of ExxonMobil Nigeria and the biggest test to unionism hence, facts should not be distorted.

He noted that, Mr. Inoyo went out of his way to ensure that the people were better taken care of.

He said: “Spy Police matter is one of the biggest test in the history of ExxonMobil Nigeria. It is the biggest test for unionism, and how it ended is something that should continue to draw applauds to the union and management.

On the role played by Mr. Inoyo in the resolution of the crisis, Comrade Obe noted that “Mr. Inoyo was on the side of PENGASSAN and the Spy Police, because he felt their pulses as a Nigerian. Inoyo did everything humanly possible for them. Most of these things were done behind their back. He need not come out openly to start telling them what he was doing in their favour. But as the person who was in the front of the battle, I can tell you the role of each and every person in the matter. I don’t think the Spy Police even know the battle that PENGASSAN fought to get that legacy compensation for them.”

He mentioned further that a lot of the people involved were happy with the role Inoyo played and would remain grateful to him. “This money, majority of the people were very grateful, I mean, there was no way some people didn’t use it as lifeline. Some people said they want to pay their 10% of their money to me, because people could reason amongst themselves, “how many years would you work as a staff police in Mobil to make N5 million as your own cash, coming once and other money is coming, pension is coming in and you are getting as much as 50 million the same time.” If you do what I call “Resources Husbandry” properly, you will never be poor again; you will be better off, if you like any other position you would want to work but, do you know the problem.”

“By that judgment, as some of them who are not that informed let me use the word. They thought since they are Mobil employees meant they became like me (Razaq Obe) over night and that means, all benefits that Mobil employees have been receiving since 19 whatever, they should pay them. To some of them, they said they will receive N1 billion, some said N1.2 billion, some said N800 million. They came with all those at the back of their minds.”

“Some comedians helped them to compute this figures, they themselves could not explain it, some would say oil spillage of 1982, the compensation for it, they brought all manner of funny things. I said, Hello, we are not acting a drama here. Let’s be educated about this, if you don’t know what the Supreme Court judgment means, some of you who said, let’s go and interpret this, many of them; the average age of those people will be like 50 years, okay! You want to prove this further, another 20 years, you want to go to court for interpretation, then you would have died and nobody will even be able to claim your money. It doesn’t make sense.”

“Some of them, for some reasons were sacked ahead of the crisis, about four of them, a case of the four and maybe a case of the eleven. We negotiated for them, they were also paid as if they were working too. But, some of them, we have some trouble makers amongst those, who still insisted they must go to court. As I talk to you, some of them are back in court. These guys who are back in court, some of them are 65 years. They are pursuing a case that I don’t know, is a case as I am sure, this sun is going to come forth in the morning tomorrow. There is nowhere that case will go, that the judges won’t just look at you and just ask rhetorically; ‘What are you talking about, are we the ones to determine your own salaries’, you went all the way to Ministry of Labour, the body that by law should interpret any labour dispute.”

“You reached an agreement there, and some of you sat at the meeting and agreed, you came back, and said ‘you are no longer in agreement.’ If you are not happy the next thing to do, you go to Industrial Arbitration Panel from there to the National Industrial Court.”

Credit: Maxwell Ubong